Shockwaves were sent around a small, 1-000 person town in Texas after nine students were arrested for sexually assaulting students with various objects.
According to reports from Fox4 San Antonio, seven underage students and two adult high schoolers in La Vernia were arrested over the allegations, which police now believe have been going on since 2014.
The seven juveniles were taken into custody last week, while the adults were arrested on Monday.
The suspects mostly consists of members of the school’s football program. However, individuals from the basketball and baseball teams were reportedly involved, as well.
Police reported that the athletes involved were sexually assaulting freshman and sophomores by taking them into the locker room and shoving foreign objects such as “coke bottles,” “Baseball bats,” and other such objects into their rectums.
A mother of one of the victims, who has remained anonymous, told Fox4 that a group of boys held her son and his friends down and horrifically attacked them:
“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 broomsticks.”
According to police, the majority of the assaults date between the 2015-2017 academic year. Authorities conclude some alumni students were involved, which makes police believe more arrests are to come.
In a statement issued by La Vernia Police:
“We made contact with several students who gave forensic interviews with the Children’s Alliance of South Texas. The results of the interviews confirmed evidence a crime had been committed.”
The seven juveniles have been released to their parents, while the two adult seniors have been booked into Wilson County Jail in Floresville.
As for the juvenile students, it has not been disclosed whether they will be allowed back at the school or will be transferred to a different one.
Since the shocking news broke, La Vernia High School Superintendent Jose Moreno addressed the matter on the school district’s Facebook page.
Superintendent Moreno wrote, in part:
The travesty of the events occurring at the La Vernia High School has crushed the spirit of our community.
I ask that we unite and focus on recovering through this challenging time together. I encourage you to be thoughtful before posting negative comments on various social media outlets that may be hurtful to students, staff, and community members.
He stated that the school would be implementing open lines of communication between students and faculty so that something like this could never happen again:
Our high school administration and athletic directors 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.
We will provide periodic updates on upcoming events and activities geared to help our students and community members. Let’s work together during this time of need and align our efforts for the children and students of our community.
The two adults were identified through affidavits:
As of now, none of the suspected minors’ identities have been released.
Police are still looking into the case, urging any victims to come forward. According to KSAT12, they also said they expect to make more arrests in connection with the case.