In a report Monday, La Vernia (Tex.) police announced the arrest of nine student-athletes on charges of sexual assault related to hazing incidents dating from 2014 to the present.
Police chief Bruce Ritchey told the StarTribune the arrestees were comprised of seven juveniles and two adults, all at some point members of the La Vernia High School boys’ football, basketball or baseball teams.
While no names were disclosed, Ritchey shared that underage suspects were arrested Friday and have been released to the custody of their guardians. Adult suspects were arrested and booked on Monday at the Wilson County Jail in Floresville, Texas.
According to the police report, initial allegations were made by a student who reported being attacked by team members in the athletic department locker rooms. The mother of one victim shared details with NEWSFIX.
"Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come. They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats," she said.
La Vernia High School superintendent Jose Moreno posted a pledge from the administration on the school district’s Facebook page, promising protocol reform on the part of athletic directors and other officials to ensure a safe space for students to voice concerns.
"The travesty of the events occurring at the La Vernia High School have crushed the spirit of our community," he wrote.
Police investigation into the extent of the transgressions is ongoing, with several other persons of interest implicated in hazing-related assault.