Authorities in Kaufman County have arrested five Forney High School students on charges of sexual assault as part of a hazing investigation.
Investigators wrote in a probable cause affidavit that multiple members of the boys’ soccer team allegedly held down a teammate and sexually assaulted him.
The victim told investigators that the alleged assaults occurred approximately 10 times, beginning in January 2017.
Jolie Stewart, with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, said that they hope by sharing some information they’ll encourage any other victims, should there be any, to come forward.
One of the students arrested, 18-year-old Jacob Fisher, was charged with sexual assault, a 2nd Degree Felony and is free after posting $75,000 bond. It is not clear if he’s obtained an attorney.
The four others arrested are juveniles, and their identities have not been released.
Two of the four students arrested were taken into custody on campus.
All of the players charged have been removed from the team, according to district officials, and the school is taking steps to increase supervision in the locker room by coaches.
Stewart added the investigation is going to take some time and that they are just beginning to scratch the surface.
With the investigation in the preliminary stages, officials did confirm that coaches and teachers were not involved in the incidents and are not expected to face any disciplinary action as a result of the allegations.
Forney ISD said the district is not under investigation and that they have been in contact with the sheriff’s department and will continue to provide information and support.
In a statement Thursday, the district said, “We are continuing to work with the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department during their investigation. Any questions regarding the investigation will need to be directed to the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.”
On Friday, the Forney Independent School District released the following statement:
The District’s primary concern is for the health and safety of our students. After initially involving the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department in this matter, the District has and will continue to assist with their investigation in any way possible. Further, any student who participated in these hazing activities will be disciplined in accordance with the Forney ISD Student Code of Conduct and Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code. We are providing counseling services for any students, parents, staff members or community members who may be struggling with this situation. We have also partnered with the Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center to provide additional support as needed. Because this is an ongoing investigation, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department has requested that inquiries regarding this situation be addressed to them. We also ask that the privacy of the students, staff and members of the community be respected.
The Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center is offering to help any possible victims who may need assistance.
“It could be difficulty sleeping at night, loss of appetite, mood swings is a big one of course, you know a lot of guilt and shame that the kids seem to put on themselves,” said Shannon Gardner, Executive Director of the Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center.
The soccer team is in the middle of their season and is scheduled to play a game Tuesday, Jan. 30 against Mesquite Poteet High School. At this time, no games or practices have been canceled.
The Forney ISD has more than 10,000 students; 1,460 at the high school.
MORE: Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center