Hazing is a well-known occurrence across the U.S. It takes place in colleges,
workplaces, sport teams, and in the military. It is seen as a way to add
a new member of the group, but it can quickly become illegal and dangerous.
In fact, there are many laws in place which outlaw
hazing because of its potential to become violent or sexual in nature. Even though
hazing has received a vast amount of media attention in the past and it
is known how horrific these cases can be, they still occur. At La Puente
High School, it appears as though another case of hazing got out of hand.
Four older members of the school's soccer team have been accused of
penetrating four of the new team members with a "javelin-like pole."
The attorney of three of the young boys has stated that the soccer coach
knew what was going on and actually helped lure the boys in the storage
room where the hazing took place. When it was all over, one of the boys
saw the coach wink at the players who committed the sexual assault. The
attorney stated that the coach is at least guilty of assisting in the
sexual assault even if he was not present.
California Penal Code §289 (2011) addresses this type of crime. It is a type of rape that involves
penetrating the sexual organ of another with a foreign object. A foreign
object could be a finger or any other item. In order for this crime to
be committed, the penetration can be slight, but it has to be against
the will of the victim. This could be through threats or violence or while
the person is unconscious. In the case at La Puente High School, it was
stated that the boys were pushed down from behind and fought as hard as
they could to get away. As the soccer team members who committed the rape
are underage, it remains to be seen what they will be charged with.