Two Southern California high school football players appeared in court Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting or raping six girls, most of them fellow students and at least one under the age of 14, authorities said.
The two boys, both 17-year-old football players at Vista Murrieta High School, were arrested Sept. 12 after a more than two-week investigation, police said. The sexual assaults did not take place on campus, police said.
One of the boys faces charges of two felony counts of forcible rape, along with charges of lewd acts with a minor under the age of 14, false imprisonment and dissuading a victim from reporting a crime.
That teen was kept behind bars after the hearing due to the severity of the charges.
Parents of one of the alleged victims lashed out at the teen in court.
The other accused teen was released to his parents because the charges against him were less severe. He was ordered to be kept under 24-hour home supervision.
Outside the court, that teenager's mother defended her son, saying the sex was consensual.
"I know the truth is coming out and his name will be cleared of the things that were wrongly said," his mother said.
Both boys are due back in court in late October.
"All names have been released in this case because they have been charged with serious or violent felonies," said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's office.
Police said they launched an investigation on Aug. 29 after a parent came forward to report an assault to school administrators.
The boys allegedly began committing the crimes in January, with most of the assaults taking place over the summer, police said.
Police said the two boys know each other.
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