A former Half Moon Bay High School aquatics star pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges that he had a sexual relationship with a female student.

The defendant, 25-year-old Joshua Tatro of El Granada, had been working for the past year as a water polo and swim coach at Aragon High School in San Mateo. During his time as a coach, Tatro allegedly became involved in illicit sexual activity with a 17-year-old water polo player. He is being charged for having at least two sexual encounters with the victim and for exchanging nude photos over his cell phone with her, according to prosecutors.

The victim went to school officials in May and told them about the relationship. Later that month, San Mateo Police arrested Tatro and charged him with sexual assault and lewd conduct with a minor.

He has been out of jail since his arrest after posting $25,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court for a review conference on Aug. 9.

Tatro was a top swimmer and water polo player at Half Moon Bay High before graduating in 2005. He received a “Spirit of the Sport” scholarship from the California Interscholastic Federation in 2003, an award that has been given to only one other San Mateo County athlete.

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