CONCORD (CBS SF) — Two high school football players from the East Bay have been arrested for an alleged “off-campus sexual assault” of a Carondelet High student, the schools and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday.
In response to media reports, the sheriff’s department released a statement Thursday confirming the arrests.
“The sexual assault was brought to the attention of detectives earlier this week,” the statement said. “The incident occurred late September in unincorporated Walnut Creek. Detectives immediately launched an investigation and confirmed the allegations. Two male juvenile suspects were arrested Wednesday evening and booked into Juvenile Hall in Martinez.”
One of the suspects is a student athlete who plays for the De La Salle High School football team, authorities said. The East Bay Times is reporting the other boy arrested is a football player at Ygnacio Valley High School.
A police source told KPIX 5 the sexual assault happened apparently after a football game in late September at some kind of event, likely a party.
Students at De La Salle said the suspect from their school was on the football team, but they believe he was suspended even before the alleged incident occurred.
Both students and parents KPIX 5 spoke with were shocked by the allegation.
“They’re kids, they’re making huge mistakes and they don’t realized it has life-long consequences,” said De La Salle parent Deborah Dafoe.
The letter from Carondelet principal Kevin Cushing said the girl “reached out to our personal counselors this week to report this incident.”
“Out of concern for our student and her family’s privacy and to protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot disclose any details of the case,” he wrote. “We are cooperating with law enforcement officials.”
“Our personal counselors are working with our student and her family to provide emotional support, and they are available to all students who may wish to discuss their feelings related to sexual assault. This incident may bring up complex feelings for many students.”
De La Salle parents also received a similar letter.
“As you may have heard, it was reported this morning by multiple news media outlets that a De La Salle student and a student from another school had been arrested on suspicion of an off-campus assault of a Carondelet student,” the De La Salle letter to parents from De La Salle President’s Cabinet read. “We know very little about the ongoing investigation, and we have not been contacted.”
De La Salle is an all-boys high school, while Carondelet is its sister all-girls parochial school located across the street in Concord.
The schools held a joint student and faculty meetings on Thursday.
“Carondelet and De La Salle have had meetings today with our respective students and faculty to gather as a community, to inform them about the incident and to discuss ways to support one another,” Cushing’s letter read.
“We engaged our students in a discussion around appropriate behavior, expectations around confidentiality, and the real consequences for engaging in inappropriate behavior, including irresponsible and hurtful social media use. We also encouraged them to talk.”
It was the second time in the last 11 months that the two schools have been rocked by a reported sexual assault.
In May, a former De La Salle football player was found in juvenile court to have sexually assaulted a girl from Carondelet.
The charges carried a maximum confinement period of 10 years, but juvenile wards of the court — unlike adult convicts — cannot be given fixed prison sentences.
The assault occurred Nov. 18 on the De La Salle campus. The victim reported it three days later and the football player, who was 15 at the time, was arrested on Nov. 29.
Investigators are asking anyone with additional information on the case to contact the sheriff’s sexual assault unit at (925) 313-2625. Anonymous tips can be reported at (866) 846-3592 or can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.