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Four students arrested in soccer team sexual hazing probe

September 24, 2012 | 10:30 am

This post has been corrected. See below for details.

Four students at La Puente High School were arrested Friday on suspicion of assault in connection with allegations they sexually hazed younger soccer players, according to authorities.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives arrested the students connected to the alleged assault of four victims. The coach has been placed on leave amid the investigation, Hacienda La Puente Unified Supt. Barbara Nakaoka said at a press conference Monday morning.

"This is deeply disturbing to me and the entire community," she said. "We do not and will not turn a blind eye to reports of harassment or hazing." 

Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said all four students were cited and released on Friday. Sgt. Dan Scott said the District Attorney's office is reviewing the cases. Scott said the sheriff's Special Victims Unit is investigating whether any adults were involved. 

The investigation began after a parent contacted authorities, Nakaoka said. 

Law enforcement sources say sheriff's investigators learned that players hazed other students by hitting them with a stick, but that in at least one case at the end of last school year, the stick was used to sodomize a minor. 

That boy suffered significant injuries.

It's unclear how long the hazing ritual has been in place, sources said.

[For the record, 1:10 p.m. Sept. 24: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the students were arrested over the summer. They were arrested Friday.]

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-- Richard Winton and Jason Song

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