DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — On Tuesday, UC Davis officials released their internal investigative report on Daniel Noble, a former assistant coach for the university’s men’s water polo team.
Noble was arrested in May by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on charges related to child pornography. The university launched its own investigation into allegations against Noble to determine if he engaged in any sexual misconduct during his tenure.
The university’s investigation revealed that Noble did not engage in sexual misconduct during his time with the school and as a coach for the Davis Water Polo Club, a private water polo club not affiliated with the school.
There was no evidence Noble harmed anyone by sexual abuse, harassment, or privacy violations in the UC Davis community, according to the report.
Noble was arrested on May 19 on the suspicion of distributing child pornography and appeared in a Sacramento federal court the next day.
According to court documents, Noble was in a chat room on the messaging app Kik that was conducted by an undercover federal agent in Florida. The agent noticed videos were posted of underage girls performing sexual acts from a user named “numerounoginger.” The user also commented on several posts.
Investigators tracked the account to Noble’s address on Sycamore Lane in Davis where he stayed with two roommates. After the FBI searched the home, Noble admitted to agents he shared the videos, but said he didn’t create them and didn’t commit a crime.
UC Davis fired Noble and ordered him to stay away from the campus. Prior to his firing, Noble’s contract was due to expire on June 30.
Noble was indicted by a grand jury on June 2, getting charged with the distribution of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
If convicted, Noble faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison with a mandatory sentence of five years, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release.
Officials said the university spoke with 17 witnesses during their investigation from June 1 through June 23. The witnesses were associated with UC Davis athletics and the water polo club.
The witnesses were identified as friends of Noble and were aware of his coaching duties with the university and club. According to the report, witnesses were “cooperative” and “forthcoming” during the investigation.
“The witnesses who knew Noble were shocked at the news of his arrest and his alleged possession of child sexual abuse material,” officials said in the report. “Several witnesses displayed feelings of sadness and anger in response to the criminal allegations. We deemed all of the witnesses to be credible.”
The university looked into Noble’s time with the water polo club due to the program using the UC Davis Schaal Aquatic Center for practices — except for a time period when the team wasn’t using the facility during the pandemic.
Officials said the only violation he “may” of committed is failing to report that UC Davis inadvertently paid him more than he was owed for a certain amount of time.
“Noble may have engaged in fraud, theft of government property, or economically wasteful conduct that may qualify as an IGA (improper governmental activity),” the report read. “This single instance of potential misconduct, however, has no relation to the conduct that led to Noble’s arrest.”
When officials discovered Noble’s overpayment, he was required to return the overpaid amount.
Click here to read the full report.