It was students who alerted Los Angeles school officials about possible sexual abuse among their peers at Venice High School, the Los Angeles Times reports. Students directed school administrators to video or photos related to the case that had surfaced on social media. Police arrested 10 students on and off campus Friday in connection with a series of alleged sex crimes that began more than a year ago and involved at least two female classmates. Those arrested ranged in age from 14 to 17 and were booked on charges that included sexual assault and lewd acts with a minor.
Authorities have said that beginning in 2013, a group of male teenagers worked together to pressure two female classmates into numerous sex acts. Some of the incidents were coerced and others were consensual, police said. Sources said that during at least some of sex acts, several boys were present and that they had threatened the girls with harm to their reputations if they did not comply. The sources said some of the accused were athletes who played football and basketball at the school. Experts in sex crimes cases said that when allegations involve so many people, the video and other online posts will be critical for investigators to determine each person's role and culpability.