By Michael Martinez
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Nine boys aged 14 to 17 were arrested Friday on accusations of unlawful sex acts against two underage girls for more than a year, on and off the campus of Venice High School, said police and school officials.
Eight of the nine male students were arrested on campus, and the other was taken into custody off-campus, police said.
Detectives have identified a total of 14 people, all between ages 14 and 17, who allegedly sexually assaulted the two female Venice High School students multiple times, Cmdr. Andrew Smith told reporters, according to CNN affiliate and FOX 13 News sister station KTLA.
Police were “rounding up” the five other alleged assailants, all minors, Smith said, according to the affiliate. Police have those students’ names, he said.
The investigation began Tuesday when school administrators told police about possible sex crimes involving students, police said.
Detectives learned the alleged sex crimes occurred from December 2013 to this month, police said.
Police made “an effort to protect the victims” when making the arrests at Venice High School, authorities said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is cooperating with police and the system’s school police, and the parents of the suspects have been notified, Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said in a statement.
“This is a painful moment for Venice High School, and this District. I want you to know that no sexual misconduct of any kind by students or staff will ever be tolerated in L. A. Unified,” Cortines said.
Crisis counselors were on campus Friday to assist students, Cortines said.
Venice High School has been used as a filming location, including in the 1978 film “Grease” and the 2003 film “Matchstick Men,” according to IMDb.com.
CNN’s Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report.