Crime

UC Davis water polo coach arrested in child porn investigation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Federal agents kicked in the door of an assistant water polo coach at UC Davis on Thursday morning and took him into custody. The arrest is linked to an undercover probe of a child porn group chat on Kik.

Agents seized several devices including a laptop from Daniel Noble’s room in a home on Sycamore Lane in Davis, where he allegedly lived with several roommates. He was transported to the county jail on federal hold and is scheduled to go before a judge Friday.

Noble, 26, joined the Aggies’ water polo coaching staff just prior to the men’s 2019 fall season. He helped lead the team to the NCAA quarterfinals and took home that year’s Western Water Polo Association title.

According to his staff directory page, Noble mainly handles film work and opponent scouting, also helping to plan practices and recruit promising athletes, both male and female. He previously coached the 12-and-under teams at the Davis Water Polo Club.

The investigation into Noble began after a user named “The Ginger” entered the Kik chat in March. At first, the user commented on videos other people shared, replying “facts” to a comment declaring that a video of two prepubescent girls fellating an adult male was “amazing.”

The user quickly began to share content depicting prepubescent children engaged in sex acts. Some videos allegedly showed underage girls kissing, using sex toys, and digitally penetrating one another. Another video is said to show an underage girl engaging in oral sex with an adult man.

Later, in April, more videos; One from a series depicting a girl wearing a Mardi Gras mask being raped, a straight-shot video of a prepubescent girl wearing a clown mask, and a 45-second clip of four children, one boy and three girls, engaging in group sex.

Authorities were able to link Noble and The Ginger through a subpoena from Kik that provided Noble’s IP address. They camped outside of his house on May 9th and followed him to the UC Davis Aquatic Center. Noble allegedly accessed Kik while on the UC Davis campus several times.

When a law enforcement taskforce raided Noble’s home on Sycamore Lane, he and his roommates were present. Authorities took an iPhone and a laptop belonging to him and read him his Miranda rights, which he waived and agreed to speak with them.

“Noble admitted that he owned the Kik account numerounoginger, with display / user name The Ginger, and he was the sole user of that account until it was disabled by Kik,” Special Agent Scott Schofield wrote in the affidavit. “His assumption was that it was disabled due to ‘this stuff’, referring to the instant investigation.”

While he allegedly admitted to sharing the graphic videos and getting sexual gratification from them, he adamantly denied doing anything “hands-on” and even offered to take a polygraph test to prove his claim. No polygraph examiners were available to come to his residence.

The investigation into the unnamed group chat is ongoing. Its administrator, who initially invited an undercover agent from Florida and sparked the probe, has also been arrested.

In a statement, UC Davis Chancellor Gary May called the allegations against Noble “highly disturbing and antithetical to the values of UC Davis.” An investigation was launched by the university to determine whether he engaged in sexual misconduct with regards to his coaching activities.

“I am deeply concerned that individuals in our community may have been harmed,” May said. “If there are victims within our community, our highest priority will be to provide support for them.”

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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