Four students have been arrested as part of a hazing investigation at La Puente High School, as first reported by KTLA 5. The students are allegedly involved in sexual hazing practiced by members of the boys' varsity soccer team.
The hazing was allegedly conducted by upperclassmen against freshman members of the team. A source informed CBS Los Angeles that victims were sodomized with foreign objects. One student was reportedly hospitalized.
The Los Angels County Sheriffs Department issued a statement about its investigation on Saturday:
The hazing incidents have gone on for several years and may have risen to the level of a crime. At this point there is no information to indicate that any member of faculty or coaching staff were directly involved.
An attorney representing alleged victims, Brian Claypool, claims "hazing and sexual abuse and assaults" were committed against young players "who just made the varsity team," via DiamondBar Patch.
Local law enforcement informed ABC 7 in Los Angeles that the alleged hazing under investigation occurred between March and August of 2012, with victims age 14 and 15.
“They only did it to the freshman. And that was kinda sad. They thought they were better than the freshman,” La Puente senior Ashley Acosta told CBS Los Angeles.
KTLA 5 reports that a teacher has been placed on administrative leave. The attorney for the alleged victims said during a press conference that the abuse occurred in a room adjacent to a coach's office.
"This is deeply disturbing to me and the entire community," Hacienda La Puente Unified Superintendent Barbara Nakaoka said during a press conference on Monday, via the Los Angeles Times. "We do not and will not turn a blind eye to reports of harassment or hazing."