FOURNEY, Texas -- Four members of the Forney High School boys soccer team were arrested on charges of sexual assault as part of a hazing investigation.
Two of them, who are juveniles, were called off the school athletic field and taken away in handcuffs Thursday morning. Two others – a juvenile and an 18-year-senior-old, identified as Jacob Fisher – were arrested off campus.
Fisher was booked into the Kaufman County jail. A team roster obtained by WFAA identifies him as a member of the varsity team.
A fifth student – also a juvenile – was expected to turn himself in soon.
WFAA was there as the arrests began shortly after 10 a.m. at the Forney High School campus at 1800 College Avenue.
Jacob Fisher was arraigned on sexual assault, a 2nd Degree Felony. A bond of $75,000 has been set.
“We don't know how long this has gone on,” said Kaufman County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jolie Stewart. “We know that our investigation is going to be pretty lengthy. It's going to take some time.”
Stewart said investigators have identified two victims, but believe there may be more. Investigators believe the sexual assaults may have been going on for years.
Court records said the investigation began one week ago when police were notified of a possible sexual assault at the school.
One boy told sheriff's investigators that he was repeatedly sexually assaulted with objects involving penetration during 2017 by Fisher and two others. All of the assaults occurred in the locker room of Forney High School or in other locker rooms where the soccer team was playing.
The victim told investigators that the sexual assaults started in January of last year and continued until this past fall.
The teen told investigators one boy would grab him by his arms while two others would grab his legs and sexually assault him. He told investigators he tried to fight them off.
“I think the case that you’re seeing in Texas is actually fairly typical,” said Emily Pualwan, executive director of the group, Hazing Prevention.org. “It happens mostly in sports, and much of the hazing happens in locker rooms or on retreats and is sexual in nature.”
Pualwan said hazing often goes on for years and victims often are reluctant to report it because of the strong desire to remain part of the team. She said about 90 percent of hazing cases go unreported.
She said often the victims become perpetrators.
“It is that cycle of abuse and students feel like ‘I went through this initiation, I went through this rite and now I’m going to inflict this on the next class’,” Pualwan said. “You can’t hide this. You can’t just say boys will be boys.”