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Jan 17, 2013 7:13 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Police investigate Sahuarita hazing incident

SAHUARITA - Police have arrested nine students from Sahuarita High School and charged them with aggravated assault and kidnapping.

Six of the students are under the age of 18 and and three are 18 and charged as adults. The adults have been identified as Marcus Stitts, Andres Vasquez, and Jorge Loya-Lopez.

Sgt. Matt McGlone said the alleged incident took place Tuesday night in the boy's locker room on campus. The male students involved are reportedly all athletes but McGlone would not say which sport. He said a witness called police Wednesday morning to report the alleged attack. "The assault occurred in conjunction with being restrained, that the minor wasn't significantly injured during the incident," McGlone said.

The incident is not considered a hate crime, according to police. However, it is considered bullying or hazing. Students Hannah and Victoria Cole said there are a lot of rumors circulating campus, "a lot of those kids though that were involved are my friends and I don't want to expect the worst but it really kind of makes me sick from what I've heard at least," Hanna said.

Meantime, Dr. Manny Valenzuela, the school superintendent, said the district was cooperating with police and would be conducting its own investigation, "we work really hard to create a safe, positive environment and understanding that, despite our best efforts,you know sometimes unfortunate situations like this happen."

McGlone said more charges could be filed in the case. He also urges anyone with information to contact the Sahuarita Police Department.

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