California high school cancels football season after alleged sex assault of teammate

A California high school canceled the remainder of its football season Wednesday after some varsity players chose not to continue following the alleged sexual assault of a player by several teammates.

In a statement, the Gilroy Unified School District said it was committed to Gilroy High School's varsity program "and completing the 2019 football season as scheduled", but it had "learned that most of the varsity players have chosen not to finish the season and therefore, at this time, the season will not continue."

The alleged assault occurred last week in a locker room after practice, The Mercury News in San Jose reported.

Police said four students allegedly assaulted another student. School and district administrators were notified of the incident and contacted police.

Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif.

Gilroy High School in Gilroy, Calif. (Google Maps)

"We investigated the allegations and determined there was evidence to support a criminal complaint," Gilroy police Capt. Joseph Deras told the outlet. "The aggravating circumstance was the number of suspects involved, and the use of force or fear played a role in our arresting decision."

The four students were suspended from school and issued juvenile citations for sexual battery, the outlet reported.

Gilroy police opened an investigation on Sept. 26 based on a report that team members "were involved in an altercation."

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The paper said the impact of the alleged assault was evident before it was reported. Several players did not play on Sept. 27 in a 21-14 loss against Salinas’ Everett Alvarez High School.

Investigations by the district and police are ongoing. Gilroy had lost the first four games of its season after going 1-9 last year.

Deras said the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is "reviewing the evidence to determine whether the students will be prosecuted."