Nine Texas high school students have been charged with sexual assault in a hazing scandal involving athletes. The arrests came last week, but further details have been released since then.
La Vernia Police Chief Bruce Ritchey says seven juveniles and two adults have been charged in allegations dating back as far as 2014.
All nine have at some point been athletes at La Vernia High School. Ritchey says the hazing primarily involved the football team, but the basketball and baseball teams were also involved to a lesser degree.
Documents obtained by FOX29 in San Antonio reveal some disturbing details of the allegations, and victims are still coming forward.
The mother of one of the alleged victims explained in graphic detail what her son relayed to her about the assault.
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 and broom sticks.
The official records obtained by the news station reflect this account, though further details have been held back since the investigation is ongoing.
La Vernia is a city of about 1,000 residents about 20 miles east of San Antonio.
“It’s a black eye for the city,” La Vernia Chief of Police Bruce Ritchey told MySanAntonio.com. “What I’m concerned with right now is providing the help and healing for those victimized.”
“These kids were stupid,” Ritchey said. “Hazing is common in high schools and colleges, but not to this extent.”
“It’s gonna take a long time (to heal). Every time we turn around, we find another suspect, more victims. We anticipate more arrests in the future.”
The community held a ‘hope and healing’ service Tuesday night.
“The families that have been affected, I want them to know that we care, that we are hurt, that we love them and that we know that we can prevail from this,” one parent told News 4 in San Antonio.
José H. Moreno, the superintendent of La Vernia ISD, posted a long message on the district’s Facebook page Monday night.
“The travesty of the events occurring at the La Vernia High School has crushed the spirit of our community,” he wrote. “Our most valued beings, our children, are the reason that we live and serve in La Vernia.”
The message can be seen in full below.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report