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Former UCLA Water Polo Players Makes Plea Deal in Sex Assault Case; Gets 180 Days in Jail

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A former UCLA water polo player accused of sexually assaulting three women agreed to plead guilty Thursday to one count of criminal threats and one count of assault.

Hakop Jack Kaplanyan, a 20-year-old from Glendale, was indicted on eight counts in March 2014 for assaults that allegedly occurred between October 2012 and April 2013, when he was suspended by UCLA after an initial arrest on suspicion of a rape. An acquaintance said he raped her in a campus dorm.

After his initial arrest, Kaplanyan appeared with his attorney before reporters, and his mother told KTLA he was innocent, while his friends made a YouTube video in support of him.

Kaplanyan was originally charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence, possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct, and two felony counts each of foreign object and assault with intent to commit rape. He also faced a misdemeanor count of sexual battery by restraint.

A plea deal was offered in part because the case would be difficult to prosecute, with the prosecutor noting that there was no forensic evidence.

He faced more than 37 years in state prison if convicted as originally charged. Instead, he received a sentence of 180 days in jail, five years of probation, one year of sex-offender counseling and 60 days of Caltrans work.

Kaplanyan was also ordered to stay away from the three victims.

The judge told him Thursday: "no means no."

The original plea deal called for no jail time, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge added it at a hearing on Thursday.

"He just felt like there should be more punishment because there was no registration," said Kaplanyan's attorney, George Mgdesyan. "He doesn't have to register as a sex offender because the charges were dismissed."

Kaplanyan was ordered to surrender in March 10.

Kaplanyan now plays water polo at Los Angeles Valley College, where he is a student, according to the Glendale News-Press