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Teen Footy Star Linked To DVD
A WOULD-be AFL star is being investigated by police over his alleged involvement in the Werribee DVD outrage.
The Herald Sun has confirmed the youth, who plays for the Western Jets in the elite Under-18 TAC Cup competition, appears in the video.
The teenager has come under the eye of AFL scouts and is likely to nominate for the 2007 AFL draft.
The Western Jets yesterday said no decision on the youth's playing future would be made until after the police investigation was completed.
Police have carried out six raids in the Werribee area.
Nine youths have been interviewed over the shocking video, in which a teenage girl is abused and degraded. Three are yet to be spoken to.
The sex crimes squad contacted the YouTube website to have the DVD removed.
Youth worker Les Twentyman called for a summit on teenage gangs as anger simmered over the scandal.
He said the attack added to evidence there was a gang crisis in schools.
He said youths were becoming so blase about gang violence, they didn't "give a hoot" who knew.
"The arrogance of the gang activity is very, very worrying," he said. "We're starting to see the signs now of a youth culture that's thumbing their nose at our quality of life."
Wyndham mayor Shane Bourke said the community was gutted by the attack.
"What these young people have done is disgusting," he said. "I think it's an eye-opener not just for our community, but for the rest of Australia."
Western Jets regional manager Shane Sexton confirmed a player was linked to the video.
"It's an important issue for the club, the community and the victim. It's tough for everyone," he said.
"We will consider everything once we know exactly what we're talking about and at this stage we don't."
A former coach of some of the teens allegedly involved in the DVD said he was disgusted by their actions.
"It's just a blatant case of disrespect," he said.
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DVD Thugs Face Rape Charge
AT least two of the dozen young thugs who filmed themselves degrading and abusing a teenage girl are under investigation for rape.
But all the youths shown in the video surrounding the girl as she appears to be pressured into a sex act face the possibility of being charged with another offence.
"At this stage the primary offence in the DVD is the sexual offence – and that's a serious sexual assault," acting Detective Inspector Simon Clemence, of the Victorian sexual crimes squad, said yesterday.
"(In) the actual sexual assault, it appears there may have been possibly two (involved). I think it would be fair to say that it's a rape, and some indecent assaults involved as well.
"It's quite disturbing. Very disturbing, actually."
As officers raided a home in Point Cook southwest of Melbourne yesterday and seized items including a computer, the parents of three youths allegedly involved handed their sons over for questioning.
Insp Clemence said police believed most of the boys involved were local students aged 16 and 17 when the offences took place in June.
Police are confident of identifying all of the boys who allegedly took part. No charges have yet been laid.
The homemade DVD was filmed in Werribee, southwest of Melbourne, and sold for $5 in at least three Victorian schools.
It was also posted on the internet.
Excerpts show a group of youths surrounding the mildly developmentally delayed 17-year-old girl and bullying her to perform sex acts. The youths also urinated on her and set her hair alight.
Police warned they were prepared to charge anyone who bought or downloaded the DVD with possession of child pornography.
Insp Clemence said the victim did not willingly take part in the degradation.
"She states quite categorically that she was not a willing participant... and that forms the basis of the offence," he said.
"This is a young lady who is severely traumatised. Anyone who thinks that this is a bit of a joke perhaps wants to have a good look at themselves."
Students who knew members of the gang involved in the DVD said some were unapologetic and had laughed at the public outrage.
Year 9 students at Werribee Secondary College said a classmate allegedly involved in the film was expelled last week for exposing himself in a maths class.
"He is a complete d...head. No one should have to put up with seeing that," one girl said.
She added some of the boys had bragged about making the movie – and claimed they had made a second one "twice as bad".
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