An Ontario court is hearing a teen boy told police he was warned not to “snitch” after being sexually assaulted by a group of fellow students at a renowned Toronto high school.
In a video played in court, the teen tells a police investigator that two of the students involved in the October 2018 incident at St. Michael’s College School approached him in the weeks that followed and urged him not to talk about it.
The boy described the incident – in which he was sexually assaulted with a broom handle in the school’s locker room after football practice – in a portion of the same video that was viewed earlier this week.
The evidence is being presented at the trial of another teen, who is accused in that incident and another one that also took place in the school’s locker room in November 2018.
The accused has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of gang sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon in connection with the two incidents.
The complainant’s account of the October incident does not mention the accused, a former student of the school.
In the video, the lead investigator in the case asks the teen whether he had heard about this kind of behaviour before joining the school’s football team.
The boy replies that he hadn’t, nor had he seen or experienced anything similar in his many years of playing sports elsewhere.
“It’s just a different culture at this school and on that team,” he tells the investigator, Det. Const. Daniel Sunghing of the Toronto police sex crimes unit.
The hearing is taking place in court and over videoconference.
Court has heard there were two sexual assaults on campus in 2018 when boys involved with a school football team pinned down two different victims and sexually assaulted them with a broom handle in a locker room.
Three teens have already pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon for their roles in the incidents and have been sentenced to two years of probation.
One of them also pleaded guilty to making child pornography for recording one of the sex assaults in a video that was then shared within the school and beyond.
Another student received a two-year probationary sentence with no jail time after pleading guilty. The charges against two other students were dropped.
None of the teens involved in the case – including the accused, the complainants and some witnesses – can be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The trial began in March but was on hold for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.