(FONTANA, Calif.) — More students than initially suspected were assaulted in a high school hazing incident in which a teacher and four students were arrested, police said Monday.
Detectives in Fontana, Calif., have identified at least three students who they say were victims of classroom assaults beginning May 31, the first day of summer school at AB Miller High School.
Police have not released the details of the incidents, but say the hazing occurred over the course of the past three weeks. Public booking records for the arrested teacher and one 18-year-old student, however, shed some light on the severity of the attacks including “attempted sodomy.”
On Saturday, technology teacher Emmanuel De La Rosa, 27, was arrested and charged with child cruelty. Four other students were also charged, including Fernando Manuel Selgado, 18, who was charged with assault, child cruelty and attempted sodomy, according to arrest records.
The three other students were minors and their names have not been made public.
“We have reason to believe this was a hazing incident,” Fontana police spokesman Robert Morris told ABC News. “The teacher, we believe, knew about the hazing and in some cases over saw it and facilitated it.”
Morris said that on at least one occasion it appeared that De La Rosa ordered students to haze their classmates in order to discipline them.
“If there were behavioral issues in the classroom and the teacher wanted students to conform to certain rules, he may have given directions,” Morris said.
Fontana school district police alerted city authorities about reports of hazing on Saturday morning. By Saturday evening Fontana police had arrested De La Rosa and four students.
Morris said detectives continue to interview students and the number of victims and suspects could rise.
Counselors were on hand Monday morning to talk to students in De La Rosa’s masonry class, school district Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks told ABC News.
De La Rosa was a regular faculty member in the school’s technology department. Citing privacy concerns Olsen-Binks could not comment on De La Rosa’s tenure at the school or if he had been the focus of disciplinary procedures, but said he was “very popular” and “his students have had great success.”
There were between 20 and 25 students in his class this summer. The term ends on Friday.
“This is an isolated incident,” said the superintendent. “We are very concerned and don’t take these allegations lightly. Our concern is for the students first and foremost.”
Following the police investigation, the school will conduct its own internal investigation, she said.
De La Rosa posted $100,000 bail and was released on Saturday. Calls to his home were not answered.
Selgado remains in custody at a jail in Rancho Cucamonga. Neither man has been arraigned or entered a plea, nor does either have a lawyer at this time.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
MJ Lee, CNN Newswire