Nine high school athletes from La Vernia, Texas were arrested and charged with sexual assault following a hazing incident, police said Monday.
All nine students — seven juveniles and two adults who have yet to be named — were at some point athletes at La Vernia High School, police chief Bruce Ritchey said. The hazing at the school, located about 30 miles outside of San Antonio, primarily involved the football team, but the basketball and baseball teams were also involved, he added.
“Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come,” a mother of one of the alleged victims told FOX San Antonio. “They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum … including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats, and broom sticks.”
The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said she knew something was wrong when her son said he no longer wanted to go to football practice.
The allegations date back as far as 2014, police said, adding that the students arrested and the victims are all male.
Police said there are 10 alleged victims and they expect more to come forward.
“It's a black eye for the city,” Ritchey said. “What I'm concerned with right now is providing the help and healing for those victimized.”
The seven underaged high schoolers were arrested last week and have been released to their parents. The two adults were arrested Monday and booked into the Wilson County Jail.
The police chief went on to say there were more “persons of interests” that remain under investigation.
“The travesty of the events occurring at the La Vernia High School have crushed the spirit of our community,” School Superintendent Jose Moreno wrote in a post on the La Vernia Independent School District's Facebook page.
He added that school officials “are implementing additional protocols to provide students a clear path of communication to report a concern, receive counseling and know that their voices will be heard while maintaining their privacy.”