A tenth high school athlete from La Vernia, Texas was arrested this week and charged with sexual assault, police chief Bruce Ritchey told BuzzFeed News.
All 10 students — seven juveniles and three adults — were at some point athletes at La Vernia High School, police chief Bruce Ritchey said. The hazing at the school, located about 30 miles outside of San Antonio, primarily involved the football team, but the basketball and baseball teams were also involved, he added.
On Wednesday, police arrested Alejandro Ibarra, 18, and charged him with sexual assault, stemming from a November 2016 incident, according San Antonio Express-News, citing an arrest affidavit.
Ibarra and two other high school seniors are accused of pinning a 16-year-old teammate face-down on a bed and sexually assaulting him with the threaded end a carbon dioxide tank, according to the Express-News. The alleged incident was a part of an "initiation" to the team, which took place at a house before a team dinner.
"The victim struggled to stop the assault, but was overpowered by the four suspects and pinned down where he could not move,” La Vernia police Sgt. Donald Keil wrote in the arrest affidavits.
Earlier this week, Dustin Norman, 18, and Robert Olivarez Jr., 17 — both high school seniors — were arrested for the same assault.
Police Chief Ritchey told BuzzFeed News his department is investigating numerous incidents spanning two to three years.
Police said there are 10 alleged victims and they expect more to come forward. Police said that the students arrested and the victims are all male.
"We get many calls a day from someone who either witnessed something or was a victim," Ritchey told BuzzFeed News.
A mother of a victim provided more details to the alleged assault,s telling FOX San Antonio the athletes used items such as Coke bottles and baseball bats to assault victims.
"Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come," the mother told FOX San Antonio. "They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum ... including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats, and broom sticks."
The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said she knew something was wrong when her son said he no longer wanted to go to football practice.
"It's a black eye for the city," Ritchey said. "What I'm concerned with right now is providing the help and healing for those victimized."
The seven underaged high schoolers were arrested last week and have been released to their parents.
"The travesty of the events occurring at the La Vernia High School have crushed the spirit of our community," School Superintendent Jose Moreno wrote in a post on the La Vernia Independent School District's Facebook page.
He added that school officials "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."
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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