14 Venice High School Students Accused of Sexual Assault
A 12th suspect has turned himself into police in connection with a series of sexual assaults that took place at Venice High School. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 11 high school students, ranging in age from 14-17 years old, were arrested on Friday, March 13 on suspicion of sexual assault and unlawful sex with a minor. Eight of the students were arrested at the school, a ninth was arrested off campus and a 10th surrendered at the police station. Police are still searching for two additional suspects.
“We didn’t want to leave the suspects out there to potentially victimize other girls at the school,” Commander Andrew C. Smith said. “The last thing we wanted was to have another victim.”
The suspects have been charged with sexual assault and lewd acts with a minor. Officials did not disclose the ages of the victims, but the section of California’s penal code under which the suspects were charged indicates that at least one of the girls involved was younger than 14 at the time of at least one of the sexual acts.
School authorities take action
On March 10, the authorities were contacted by school administrators, notifying them of possible sex crimes involving two minor females that took place with increasing frequency from December 2013 to March of this year. The students said explicit pictures of the victims engaging in sex acts with the boys have been posted on social media sites.
The police believe that some of the sexual acts were consensual, while others were forced. The assaults, which are thought to have recently intensified, occurred in a variety of locations, including both on and off the high school campus, according to authorities. According to reports, at least some of the alleged assailants were members of the school’s football and basketball teams.
A Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson said three counselors have been assigned to help students, staff members and parents deal with the investigation.
“This is a painful moment for Venice High School and this district,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines. “I want you to know that no sexual misconduct of any kind by students or staff will ever be tolerated in L. A. Unified.”
Currently, no other victims are suspected to be involved in the case.
Officials are planning to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to file charges against the students involved.
Los Angeles sex assault lawyer
Sexual assault is a terrible crime that no one should ever have to endure. If you or a loved one is the victim of harassment or any type of sexual abuse, it’s important to stand up for your rights. Not only do you need to hold the person accountable for their actions — speaking out may help to prevent another innocent person from becoming their next victim.
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