Los Angeles police descended on Venice High School on Friday, arresting nine students in connection with a series of sex crimes that began more than a year ago and involved at least two female classmates.
All but one of the arrests were on campus; authorities were attempting to locate five other students. The investigation began after a parent reported the allegations on Tuesday.
As detectives investigated, they discovered at least one photograph showing sex acts, according to law enforcement sources. A photo that appears to show two teenagers engaged in a sex act has been circulated on social media. Allegations involved both consensual sexual acts between minors and coerced acts, which complicates the case, police said.
Twelfth grader Gabriel Siria said he was on his way to his second-period history class Friday morning when he walked past two school administrators with police officers. He watched as three students were handcuffed in the hallway outside of class.
Law enforcement officials stressed the investigation is still in its early stages and that police made the arrests quickly in an effort to prevent any more incidents.