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UCLA water polo player accused of rape wants to attend class

April 09, 2013|By Richard Winton

The attorney for a UCLA water polo player arrested for allegedly raping a female student says his client wants to appeal a suspension that forbids him from going to the campus.

Berc Agopogulu, lawyer for 18-year-old Hakop Jack Kaplanyan, said his client is "completely innocent."

"We believe this matter will be resolved once the investigation is completed," Agopogulu said in a statement.

"Needless to say, Mr. Kaplanyan and his family are devastated and shocked by the recent developments. They kindly request their privacy be respected and would like this matter be resolved fairly and expeditiously."

Kaplanyan, a red-shirt freshman who plays the attacker position on the water polo team, was arrested Wednesday. He is free on $200,000 bail and due in court to face charges April 25.

UCLA officials said Kaplanyan “has been suspended from the university, subject to an appeal.” A statement from UCLA described the female student as an acquaintance of Kaplanyan's and said  she reported she was raped inside his residence hall. The woman filed a report with campus police late April 2, and Kaplanyan was arrested without incident.

Interviewed by KTLA-TV, Kaplanyan's mother also said her son was innocent. 

“It’s so easy for them to just accuse a person without, like, telling the truth,” Marine Kaplanyan told the TV station from the front door of the family's Glendale home as her son looked on from the living room couch. “My son is innocent, I can tell you that and we’re going to prove that, because he’s not one of those guys.”

As a Hoover High sophomore in 2009, Kaplanyan set what was then the CIF single-season record of 229 goals.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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