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In a shocking civil suit stemming from the sexual assault of a 15-year-old football player at a high school in Texas, allegations surfaced that the school administration and coaches were aware of repeated sexual assaults related to student on student hazing incidents, and did nothing to stop them from continuing. As of now, over two dozen students, six of which that are now adults, have been arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault. More are still expected to come forward.
In essence, in the town of La Vernia's high school, varsity athletes seemingly had a regular practice of sodomizing underclassmen with foreign objects as part of a hazing ritual when the younger students made it to the varsity teams. There are numerous stories that are being uncovered of younger classmen being forcibly held down, while older students laughed and sodomized them with items like bottles, flashlights, and cardboard. The student that has filed suit has alleged nearly half a dozen separate assault incidents.
Most states have criminal penalties for individuals who commit acts of hazing. While the students that are alleged to have participated in the hazing rituals can face serious criminal charges, the coaches and administrators could also potentially face criminal charges.
Under Texas law, child abuse incidents must be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours. However, rather than involve law enforcement, when the administration discovered a hazing sodomy incident, the aggressors were merely counseled by the school's athletic director, and not even disciplined.
It is unfortunately all too common to hear about lawsuits related to high school and college hazing incidents. Despite the fact that nearly all schools have policies prohibiting the practice, a commonality many of the lawsuits share is that coaches and other personnel that are supposed to protect students, frequently turn an intentional blind eye to hazing.
Generally, in addition to pursuing the aggressors themselves, a student injured in a hazing incident can also pursue individual school employees as well as the school, school district, and any other entity related to the school, or athletics program.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.