Reports: The Gaily Grind
Ten high school students are facing sexual assault charges in the La Vernia high school hazing scandal that has rocked their small Texas town.
Police on Monday announced the additional arrests of senior football players Robert Olivarez Jr., 17, Alejandro Ibarra, 17, and 18-year-old Dustin Norman.
According to arrest documents, Ibarra joined his fellow varsity football teammates, Norman and Olivarez Jr., in pinning a 16-year-old male student down on a bed and sticking the end of a CO2 air tank in his anus. The victim was being initiated from the junior varsity to varsity football team.
“The victim struggled to stop the assault, but was overpowered by the four suspects and pinned down where he could not move,” authorities report.
As the investigation widens, students have continued to come forward to share similar stories of sexual assault with the police. In every case, the perpetrator is a member of a high school athletic team, said La Vernia police Sgt. Donald Keil. The San Antonio Current reports that at least 25 victims have come forward, although it is believed there are more victims out there.
The lead investigator told the La Vernia News that this abuse has gone back at least three and a half years.
“Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come,” one mother told Fox San Antonio.
La Vernia police on Monday arrested two seniors on the football team. (FOX SAN ANTONIO)
“They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum… Coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats, and broomsticks.”
Football coach and La Vernia’s athletic director Chris Taber, released a statement that said administrators would “continue to implement measures providing additional safety and security for all students.
Many of the town’s 1,400 residents are standing by the accused.
“Some kids, mostly athletes, are calling the victims ‘rats and snitches,’” one student told the Daily Beast. “A lot of people are saying they feel bad for [the accused], that they didn’t do anything too extreme.”
Shortly before Ibarra was arrested, he took to Facebook to defend Olivarez and Norman: “These two didn’t take apart [sic] of it. They didn’t do anything… I was with them every day and we were never involved in this stupid shit!”
And after posting bail, Ibarra wrote, “We are innocent. Watch and see!”
That same day, Father Stan Fiuk of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, called for mercy and forgiveness for the accused: “Our society doesn’t want to see something wrong. When something wrong happens, we want to crucify them. This is a little bit hypocritical… These children need mercy and we have to learn to be merciful because they are victims of the sick society.”
“True Christians will show true mercy to everyone involved and will reach out to show love,” said Shannon Kosub, St. Ann’s director of religious education.
Source: The Gaily Grind