VISTA — A Vista Unified School District employee and Carlsbad water polo coach was arraigned in Vista Superior Court on Monday after his arrest last week for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old girl at an Oceanside park.
Conner Chanove, 27, of Carlsbad pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14, one count of luring a minor for sex and one count of arranging a meeting with a minor.
Deputy District Attorney Jessica Stehl, who is prosecuting the case for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, revealed further details in court about the incident and Chanove’s relationship to the child.
According to Stehl, Chanove worked as a school counselor at the school the girl attended. The Vista Unified School District later clarified that Chanove worked part-time as a substitute teacher, counselor and instructional aide, but was not serving in the capacity of a school counselor at the time of the incident.
On Nov. 18, the mother of the 13-year-old allegedly discovered her daughter with Chanove in the backseat of his parked car at Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside. Chanove’s pants were down when she arrived, according to Stehl.
The girl later disclosed that she touched Chanove’s penis and also kissed him, Stehl said.
Chanove was arrested two days later after being tracked down by the Oceanside Police Department, which is continuing to investigate the case.
Law enforcement also discovered Snapchat messages between Chanove and the child detailing plans to meet at the park the day the incident occurred, according to Stehl. Law enforcement is still investigating how long this contact had been going on, and no other accusers have been identified at this time, she said.
Superior Court Judge Matthew Brower agreed to lower Chanove’s bail from $1 million to $325,000 to be consistent with the bail schedule for each charge. Chanove has since made bail and been released, Sheriff’s records indicate.
The court also set several conditions for Chanove’s bail: He will have to wear a GPS monitoring device and is prohibited from going within 15 feet of anyone under the age of 18, making direct or indirect contact with anyone under the age of 18 and going onto any school grounds.
Bower also issued a protective order prohibiting Chanove from making any contact with the 13-year-old and going within 100 yards of her or her school.
Stehl opposed lowering bail, stating that Chanove poses a public safety threat. She also urged the court to explicitly prohibit him from working with children.
“The people want to make sure that there is a condition that he cannot continue working in any capacity where he has access to children,” Stehl said. “I don’t know the status of his employment, so it would be my request for the court to make sure he cannot continue his employment in any fashion as a school counselor, as a water polo coach or any other employment that involves that kind of interaction with children.”
Brower agreed to prohibit him from going on school grounds or being within 15 feet of children but said decisions regarding his employment will be left to his employer.
The Seaside Water Polo Club said last week that Chanove has been suspended, and Vista Unified said he is not allowed on any district campus in the district.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Oceanside Police Department Family Protection Unit at 760-435-4377.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with additional information from the Vista Unified School District about Chanove’s employment.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include that Chanove has been released from custody after posting bail.