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Five Long Beach teens arrested for allegedly groping classmates

November 23, 2009 |  4:46 pm

Five Long Beach teens, including at least two football players, have been arrested for allegedly groping female classmates at Polytechnic High School, according to school district and police officials.

The boys, who are not being identified because they are minors, have been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and were released to their parents, said police spokeswoman Jackie Bezart.

On Tuesday, a female student told school officials that the boys circled her and grabbed her body after lunchtime near the student store, said Long Beach Unified School District spokesman Chris Eftychiou. The district called police and two more alleged victims came forward, he said.

In addition to the criminal charges, three of boys were suspended for five days and two will be sent to alternative schools. At least two of the boys are football players at Poly, which is a powerhouse in the sport.

Poly Co-Principal Victor Jarels sent a letter to parents Monday informing them about the incident and noting that the school is arranging sexual harassment sensitivity training for freshman boys. He urged parents or students to report any safety concerns to school officials.

“Hopefully this is extent of it,” Eftychiou said. “But we just want parents to know they and their children should feel comfortable approaching the school if they even suspect anything like this occurring.”

-- Seema Mehta