Calif. high school hazing investigated

Sept. 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM
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LA PUENTE, Calif., Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Hazing of boys' soccer team freshmen at La Puente (Calif.) High School allegedly escalated into sexual abuse, school and sheriff's officials said.

The claims involve incoming freshmen who were allegedly sodomized with foreign objects by older students as part of a hazing ritual, KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

One alleged victim was hospitalized, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported Monday.

"Detectives from the Special Victims Bureau [specializing in sex crimes] are investigating allegations of hazing within a varsity sports program at La Puente High School," Sgt. Al Frejo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said in a written statement Saturday.

He said the potential victims were an "unknown number" of 14- and 15-year-olds.

The school district launched an investigation of its own to learn if similar hazing was affecting other sports programs, La Puente Unified School District President Joseph Chang said Sunday. He said no allegations had surfaced.

No school staff members were involved, he said, adding that a letter informing parents of the investigation was sent to students' parents Friday.

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