Six students arrested, charged in St. Michael’s investigation into alleged assault

Elias Hubbard
November 20, 2018

Six teens were arrested and charged Monday in connection with an alleged sexual assault at an all-boys private school in Toronto as police said they were looking into more incidents and additional charges could follow.

In the morning, school administrators receive a video of a hazing incident, which police sources say involved members of the basketball team bullying a student in the washroom and soaking him with water.

The students are being held in custody pending a hearing later Monday. Prior to the officer's arrival, police receive word from the media regarding the expulsions of students related to an alleged "sexual assault involving an object".

"We have reason to believe that there may be more videos and more incidents", he said, adding that there are a minimum of four separate alleged victims in total at this point.

Police said the assaults, which the school was initially made aware of last Monday, were videotaped and circulated on social media.

Toronto police sources say the incident under police investigation involved a group of students on the football team pinning down another student and allegedly sexually assaulting him with a broom handle.

Sinopoli said that the alleged victim is doing OK. Today, six boys have been arrested and charged in connection with the case.

"We are also examining digital options", the school added. "The unintended consequences are far reaching and detrimental to the recovery of the victim". Toronto Police are strictly reminding students that possession of this video is considered child pornography and that all students should delete any footage they may have. "Failure to do so and or the continued distribution or publishing of these videos will be treated very seriously".

"More than 50 witnesses have been identified and more information comes to us daily", Sinopoli said.

St. Michael’s College School principal Gregory Reeves speaks to reporters at the school on Nov. 19 2018.
Christopher Katsarov  The Canadian Press
St. Michael’s College School principal Gregory Reeves speaks to reporters at the school on Nov. 19 2018. Christopher Katsarov The Canadian Press

Police send an officer to the school.

The school's principal did not attend a police press conference because of a bomb threat at the school which caused students and faculty to be evacuated.

St Michael's expelled eight students and suspended another in connection with at least two incidents that allegedly took place on campus and were captured on video and shared by students.

Originally, the school said it had informed police of the reported sexual assault and another assault incident, but principal Greg Reeves admitted that wasn't true during a series of interviews on Sunday. They warn the ongoing investigation could lead to more charges.

In a statement, Principal Reeves said, "Recent incidents at our school are offensive to everything we strive to teach the young men of St. Michael's".

"We want to reiterate that we are monitoring social media and we'll act on any reports of reprisals, retaliation, violence or threats of violence", Sinopoli said.

Meanwhile, St Michael's is initiating an independent investigation into the incidents. "So, in hindsight, I may review that and consider whether that was a good decision or not", Reeves said.

A preliminary report on the committee's findings is expected by the spring of next year and the final report should come by next summer, the school said.

Watch the full press conference below.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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