HOBBS – Members of a southeastern New Mexico high school soccer team raped a young teammate, recorded the sexual assault of another player and subjected other players to violent sexual acts as part of hazing, according to a federal lawsuit.
Attacks on players have occurred as recently as this month, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque by a parent of a player alleges her son was raped by Hobbs High School soccer teammates in 2016 shortly after another player was sexually assaulted on a bus, the Hobbs News-Sun reported.
The lawsuit alleges a video showed soccer players sexually assaulting a boy two years ago and that a coach told players to delete the cellphone video.
Hobbs Municipal Schools Superintendent T.J. Parks declined to comment on the lawsuit. But he said this month the district was investigating alleged player misconduct in the boys’ soccer program.
According to the lawsuit, the hazing of younger players on the boys’ varsity soccer team dates back to the 2015 fall season and included sexual assaults.
The assaults frequently happened in front of coaching staff who did nothing to stop the abuse and did not report it, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says the 13-year-old rape victim became withdrawn and irritated, and lost interest in playing soccer. His mother became concerned and inspected his phone, discovering the video of the alleged Sept. 17, 2016, assault of the boy on the bus, court documents say.
The mother reported the video to Hobbs High School administrators, who took no action, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged another sexual assault occurred earlier this month, when the boys’ soccer team was on an overnight, out-of-town trip. It alleges several younger players were held against their will in a hotel room in El Paso, Texas, and were sexually assaulted by several older players.
Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall said Monday the Hobbs Police Department is investigating the alleged El Paso incident. He said police will forward findings to the El Paso Police Department.
The lawsuit, which names Parks, coaches, current and former administrators, seeks unspecified monetary damages.