DAMASCUS, Md. - Sources say sexual assaults involving the junior varsity football team at Damascus High School involved a broom, similar to a scene from Netflix drama "Thirteen Reasons Why." Montgomery County police say they are aware of the show but will not speculate, saying motivation for the incident remains under investigation.
Five students were charged with rape or attempted rape as of Friday. The cases will be handled in the juvenile justice system.
Police say four victims were assaulted in a locker room after school on Wednesday. The incident baring similarities to a violent rape scene in the Netflix drama "Thirteen Reasons Why."
The dramatic scene from the second season of the show was controversial when it debuted in May.
The scene shows character Tyler Down, being confronted by several students. They violently beat him in the bathroom and then sexually assault him with a mop.
Given the similarities to the alleged assaults at Damascus High, parents and students are questioning whether the scene inspired the real-life events.
"The motivation is still under investigation as this inquiry goes forward. Those details may or may not be released once they're learned," said Paul Starks with Montgomery County police.
Starks says whether or not the show inspired the alleged violent assaults, parents can use the situation as a teaching tool for their teen children -- who may be influenced by what they see on TV and online.
"This is a time when parents and other adults with influence in a young person's life can use this as a teaching opportunity. This is just a movie. It's not real. Were this to happen this would be taken very seriously or you could be putting yourself in some sort of jeopardy whether it's getting in harm's way or possibly running afoul of the law," said Starks.