Former UC Davis water polo coach pleads guilty to sharing child porn, prosecutors say

A former UC Davis water polo coach, who also taught at a youth club, pleaded guilty Thursday to sharing child pornography.

Daniel Joseph Noble, 28, faced three charges of knowingly distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He pleaded guilty to one count after he shared more than 20 images of adults sexually abusing children on the app Kik, a messaging app, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California said in a news release.

“He admitted receiving sexual gratification from some of these visual depictions,” court records say, but denied “hand-on offenses against minors,” according to The Sacramento Bee’s previous reporting.

Noble’s contract at UC Davis was not renewed in June 2022, the month after his arrest. He began working at the university in 2019.

Noble, who now lives in San Diego County, was caught after FBI agents conducting an undercover probe of online Kik groups found minor girls engaged in graphic sexual activity.

A search warrant for a computer’s IP address led them to Noble’s home on Sycamore Lane, and agents trailed him to the UC Davis Aquatic Center, previous reporting said.

Noble faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine at his Sept. 12 hearing.