Nine La Vernia High School athletes have been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting other boys with Coke bottles, baseball bats, and various other objects. Texas police investigators believe the sexual abuse goes all the way back to 2014. The city is located about 20 miles south of San Antonio.
Seven of the Texas high school students arrested last week were juveniles and two others — now adults — were arrested yesterday. According to a police statement made by one of the alleged victim’s parents, the La Vernia High School athletes held down other male students and pushed the noted objects “into their rectums.” The accused high school were involved with the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams, according to comments by parents of alleged victims.
“Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come,” the parent said during interview with local journalists.
— Breanna Barrs (@breannabarrs) March 27, 2017
Each alleged sexual assault is believed to have taken place by gangs of boys in the school locker rooms, according to the same unidentified parent. Texas police officers were called after a boy was assaulted recently in a junior high bathroom in the same public school district. Some La Vernia High School graduates have been noted as potential suspects as well, the Daily Mail reports.
None of the suspects in the Texas school sexual assault case were named, but all have been noted as being male. School Superintendent Jose Moreno said the horrific hazing incidents have “crushed the spirit” of the community.
La Vernia Police Chief Bruce Ritchey told local reporters that more arrests in the sexual abuse investigation are likely to come, Fox San Antonio reports.
“They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum… including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats and broomsticks,” an alleged victim’s mother said.
The mother also stated that she only learned about the sexual assault hazing going on inside the La Vernia High School locker room when her son became adamant about not going to football practice.
Chief Ritchey confirmed the La Vernia High School hazing investigation primarily involved players on the varsity football team, but he noted the suspects, to a lesser degree, also involve players on the baseball and basketball teams. The Texas high school serves about 1,000 area students.
After the worried mother of the football player went to the police with her son’s story about the hazing, several more boys came forward to detail what had happened to them as well. Law enforcement officers are anticipating more potential victims to also contact them now that an investigation is underway.
Police officials have confirmed there are currently at least 10 possible sexual assault victims. The male students who have filed complaints are all freshman and sophomores at the Texas school district.
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) March 23, 2017
The alleged hazing victims underwent “forensic interviews” with the Children’s Alliance of South Texas last week before the wave of sexual assault arrests began. The results of the testing reportedly indicate a crime was committed, according to Chief Ritchey.
The juvenile sexual abuse suspects have now all been released into the custody of their parents. Whether or not the suspects who were allowed to return home will be permitted to resume classes at the same high school is not yet known.
Superintendent Moreno tried to alleviate parental fears in a statement which said the administration and athletic directors at the high school are “implementing additional protocols” so students will have a “clear path of communication” when they want to report any safety concern to school officials. He added the students will receive counseling and have their privacy respected while still allowing their voices to be heard.
The suspects who are 18 or older have been booked into the Wilson County Jail in Floresville. The number of other students and graduates from the La Vernia Independent School District under investigation has not been released.
[Featured Image by Inked Pixels/Shutterstock]