California HS football team cancels season after sexual battery allegations

Sunny football field at sunset
Players decided to cancel their football season after sexual assault allegations. (Getty Images)

Football players at a California high school decided to end their season early following allegations that a player was sexually assaulted by teammates.

The Gilroy Unified School District announced Wednesday that “most of the varsity players” at Gilroy High School “have chosen not to finish the season and therefore, at this time, the season will not continue.”

Four players were issued citations for sexual battery after allegedly assaulting a player in the locker room after practice on Sept. 26, per the Mercury News. All of the accused individuals are minors and therefore further information has not been released.

Gilroy police captain Joseph Deras told the Mercury News:

“We investigated the allegations and determined there was evidence to support a criminal complaint. The aggravating circumstance was the number of suspects involved, and the use of force or fear played a role in our arresting decision.”

The school district announced the investigation in a bulletin posted Sept. 30. In an update the next day, it wrote it hoped the incident “will not affect” the football season. In announcing the students’ decision to cancel, the district wrote it was still “fully committed” to the program and finishing the schedule.

The program won it first section championship two years ago with a 13-0 record, per the News, but switched coaches and have gone 1-13 since.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will determine if students are prosecuted. Gilroy is approximately 70 miles south of San Francisco.

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