4 in alleged soccer team hazing file claims against school district

Four teenagers who say they were sexually hazed by soccer players at La Puente High School filed legal claims against the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District on Thursday.

The claims allege that the attacks were captured on cellphone videos, that a coach knew about the hazing and that older players targeted younger players.

The claims, precursors to civil lawsuits, allege that the coach "supported and conspired and abetted with students."

Four senior members of the soccer team have been arrested on suspicion of assault and the soccer coach has been placed on leave. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott said that investigators have identified at least four victims and that the coach is under investigation, but so far, detectives have no direct evidence of the coach's participation.

"There are many more victims but most fear retaliation if they report it" said attorney Brian Claypool, who represents the four teens and their parents. Claypool said one of the alleged victims was expelled by the school "after he reported being attacked."

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District Supt. Barbara Nakaoka said she could not comment on any specifics because of student and teacher confidentiality requirements. "The investigation is still continuing by the Special Victims Unit and we have an ongoing investigation which I cannot jeopardize," she said..

richard.winton@latimes.com

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