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Venice High sexual assault arrests make international headlines

Craig Clough | March 16, 2015

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Venice High School (credit: LAUSD)

After the Los Angeles Police Department flooded Venice High School on Friday, arresting eight boys there and two more off campus, LA Unified again found itself the subject of some seriously negative headlines.

National and international media organizations like People, The New York Times, CNNThe Guardian and even Sputnik International — an official news agency of the government of Russia — all ran stories about the case. Although police have released few details, the few that are known are shocking, including the large number of suspects and age of the victims.

The LAPD has identified 14 suspects, all between the ages of 14 and 17, accused of sexually assaulting two female juveniles on and off campus in incidents dating back to 2013 and occurring as recently as this month.

As of Friday, 10 had been arrested and four were still being sought. Officer Julie Sohn with the LAPD Media Relations Section said the department has offered no new updates since Friday and could not confirm if any additional suspects had been arrested today or over the weekend.

“There are no additional updates at this time,” Sohn said.

The group of male students, some of whom are athletes, worked together to pressure girls into having sex and allegedly made verbal threats to pressure them to have sex, a source told the Los Angeles Times.

“Some of these were forced sexual acts, sexual assaults, others were consensual with individuals who are too young to give consent,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said at a press conference, according to KCAL.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations-West Bureau, Special Sexual Assault Section at (213) 473-0447.

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