Six former members of Forney High School's soccer team have now been arrested on charges related to an investigation into a hazing sexual assault scandal. 19-year-old Tyler Teer was arrested on Tuesday, December 4 on a charge of hazing, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Teer tackled a soccer teammate to the ground in Forney's locker room and allegedly "inserted a finger between" the victim's buttock's. The victim was wearing his Forney High School practice uniform at the time of the alleged assault.
According to District Attorney Erleigh Wiley, there was not sufficient evidence for a sexual assault charge against Teer. The state penal code requires penetration of a victim's genital's in order for a sexual assault charge to be brought, which Wiley says did not occur. The DA's office is continuing to investigate this case.
In January 2018, five soccer players - four minors and 19-year-old Jacob Fisher, were arrested on sexual assault charges in connection with locker room hazing rituals involving the Forney High School soccer team. The cases against the juveniles have been resolved, but the details are not public. As of Tuesday, the status of Fisher's case is unknown.
The victim told police that he was repeatedly sexually assaulted with objects, including penetration, in 2017 by Fisher and two others. All of the alleged assaults occurred in the locker room of Forney High School or other school's locker rooms for visiting games. The victim says these assaults began in January of 2017 and continued until fall of that year.
According to a local news report from WFAA in Dallas, then-Forney High School soccer coach Kris Duplissey and other school officials are being investigated for their handling of the complaints of sexual assaults. The report says that Duplissey was aware of the incident weeks earlier than previously reported.
The sheriff's department says a player told Duplissey he had been sexually assaulted in late November of 2017. State law required Duplissey and any other school officials who were aware of the incident to report the alleged sexual assaults to law enforcement. Failure to do so is a crime punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
WFAA also reports that school officials opted to conduct their own investigation after contacting the police. Sherriff's officials were concerned that this would interfere with their own investigation.
In mid-February, investigators raided the high school, seized documents, emails, and other records from Duplissey and other Forney High School administrators.
In March, the principal transferred and the assistant principal retired. In early April, the high school's athletic coordinator also retired. Duplissey resigned in late March.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan represents survivors of sexual assault, helping them find financial compensation and justice against their abusers and third parties who failed to prevent the assault. We've asked him to discuss the legal options available to survivors of sexual assault involving locker room hazing:
Hazing may be illegal in 44 states, but it's still a serious issue plaguing our high schools. In extreme cases, hazing can even cross the line into sexual assault. Coaches and other school officials have a legal duty to make sure their locker rooms are safe environments free of hazing, especially when it involves sexual assault. These school officials also have a legal duty to immediately report allegations of sexual assault to law enforcement.
In cases where a school fails to prevent a hazing sexual assault incident through negligence or fails to report allegations of sexual assault immediately to the authorities, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school district. If you or someone you love has been sexually assaulted during a locker room hazing incident, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual assault survivors attorney.