4 Teens Plead No Contest in High School Teammates’ Sexual Assault, Hazing Scandal
Pleas stem from the arrests of 13 La Vernia High School athletes in 2017 who were accused of sodomizing their rookie teammates.
Four teenage males have pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint over their roles involving the sexual assault and hazing of multiple athletes at La Vernia High School in La Vernia, Texas.
The identities of the four boys who took the plea deals have not been revealed because they were minors at the times of the alleged crimes. The pleas are not an admission of guilt but are an acceptance of the court’s punishment, reports BuzzFeed News.
The deals stem from the arrests of a total of 13 La Vernia High School students in the spring of 2017. Six adults and seven minors, including the teens who just pled no contest, were charged. Most of the suspects were football players at the school, although the baseball and basketball teams were also involved.
The victims were allegedly sodomized by their teammates with flashlights, shampoo bottles, broomsticks, fingers and other objects. The sexual assaults took place in the 2016-2017 season, although some allegations date back to 2014, reports KSAT.
One assault involving Dustin Norman, Alejandro Ibarra and another student happened at a private residence and was part of an initiation process of a 16-year-old victim who was promoted from junior varsity to varsity football. The victim was allegedly held down on a bed and sexually assaulted with the threaded end of a CO2 air tank.
Additional assaults are reported to have happened at other private residences or in the locker room where victims were held down. At least 10 boys on the high school’s sports teams were victimized.
Four adults in the case — Ibarra and Norman, as well as Colton Weidner and Christian Roberts — were charged in June with engaging in criminal activity.
A lawsuit filed by one of the victims against the school and others alleges that a “pervasive ‘rape culture’ dominated the School’s football program.” It also claims that coaches and administrators either sanctioned or turned a blind eye to these “rituals.” The district says, however, that it only learned of the allegations in 2017.
That lawsuit and another case have been consolidated and are scheduled to go to trial early next year, reports the Daily Beast.
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