La Puente, CA – Teenage soccer players at La Puente High School in east Los Angeles have been accused of hazing and sexually assaulting three new members of their team. A sheriff’s department spokesman has confirmed that the team’s coach is also under investigation for possible involvement.
The group has been accused by three teenagers, at least one of whom is as young as 14, of forcing their victims to disrobe before being subjected to physical assaults. The alleged victims’ attorney, Brian Claypool, has described the allegations in somewhat unsettling detail, revealing how some of the assaults were carried out with the end part of a javelin. Speaking to CNN, Claypool stated:
“This has been taking place for at least two years, possibly longer.”
In response to the allegations, dozens of parents marched to the school campus on Monday, armed with placards and banners, to demand that school officials are held accountable if the allegations are proven to be true.
School officials have said they are cooperating with law enforcement, while Barbara Nakaoka, superintendent of Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, confirmed the coach of the soccer team, who she declined to name, has been placed on administrative leave. She added:
“This is deeply disturbing to me and the entire community. We do not and will not turn a blind eye to reports of harassment or hazing.”
Four people have been cited in the incident, and a review by the Los Angeles district attorney could result in charges being pressed. Three of the four accused are minors while one has turned 18 since the alleged hazings.