Toronto police arrest another student, lay additional charges in St. Michael’s College School investigation
Toronto police have arrested five students from St. Michael’s College School, four of whom were already accused in a separate incident, in connection with another alleged sexual assault at the all-boys private school.
Police said Wednesday the new arrests stem from an incident that occurred on Oct. 17 when a boy was allegedly sexually assaulted with an object.
The students, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, face charges of assault, sexual assault with a weapon and gang sexual assault.
“Four of these young persons that were arrested today were also implicated in the original arrests of Nov. 19,” Insp. Domenic Sinopoli told reporters during a news conference at police headquarters.
Investigators said two of these five arrested were also charged with assault and assault with a weapon in relation to another incident that occurred on Sept. 18.
“Both of these young persons were also implicated of the original arrests of Nov. 19,” Sinopli said. In total, seven students face charges in connection with multiple alleged incidents of assault and sexual assault at the school.
VIDEO: 7th student facing charges in St. Michael’s College School investigation
Global News was told by the lawyer of the seventh student charged that his 15-year-old client turned himself in Wednesday morning. It is unclear if the boy has been expelled from the school.
“We do not have that information at this time and as such are not able to comment on that as it is part of the police investigation,” St. Michael’s spokesperson Lianne Castelino said.
Earlier in the day, six students charged for allegedly sexually assaulting another student at the private school in Toronto had their court case put over until Jan. 28.
The teens face sex assault and assault charges for an incident at St. Michael’s College School that was caught on video in which a boy was assaulted with an object.
The six teens were all released on bail after their first appearance in mid-November.
St. Michael’s expelled eight students amid a growing police investigation into eight incidents at the private Roman Catholic all-boys institution.
VIDEO: Police say anyone distributing video of alleged St. Mike’s assault can be charged
Police said Wednesday that of the eight incidents being investigated, five of them have been cleared and those cases are closed.
“The remaining five occurrences are being concluded either because there was no criminal allegation or the complainants did not want to participate in the investigation,” Sinopoli said.
Two top school officials resigned in wake of the scandal and St. Michael’s has established a “respect and culture” review panel that’s set to report its findings by the summer.
Police said that the former school principal, who faced criticism for his delay in notifying authorities of the assaults, will not face any charges.
“After a thorough investigation, we do not believe we have grounds to lay any charges against the principal, Mr. Greg Reeves, in relation to his duty to report under the Child Youth and Family Services Act,” Sinopoli said.
“The same would apply to the faculty, and or, the coaching staff. We have consulted with the assistant crown attorneys at the Ministry of the Attorney General who have confirmed that no charges are warranted.”
VIDEO: Toronto police have no reason to charge St. Mike’s principal, faculty
The school has also cancelled its varsity basketball season for this year and scrapped its football program for the next year.
Investigators said they don’t have any evidence to suggest the alleged incidents of assault and sexual assault extended outside of this school year or involved anyone outside the group of students already arrested.
“Additionally, our research into these incidents and our past dealing with the college did not suggest any trend that would lead someone to believe that this is an ongoing or systemic problem,” Sinopoli said.
Police also said they have not received any further reports of historical acts of physical or sexual abuse at the school.
Sinopoli said investigators completed 60 interviews during their probes and they do not expect further charges to be laid.
VIDEO: Police say there’s no evidence about systemic behaviour at St. Mike’s
–With a file from Jamie Mauracher and the Canadian Press
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