Local

Maine West hazing being probed by state's attorney

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says her office will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the hazing scandal at Maine West High School.

Police and the school district have been investigating the suspected hazing abuse already. Now, the state's attorney's office says it wants to know exactly what the school knew and when.

Four Maine West students -- one former baseball player and three soccer players -- say they were sexually assaulted during hazing rituals.

All four athletes have filed a lawsuit claiming some coaches and administrators knew that the hazing took place but did nothing to stop it.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also has asked prosecutors to look into whether adults at the school failed to report suspected abuse.

The new review will look into that.

"I ordered a complete investigation from my sex crimes division to look at everything -- to look at the allegations that have been made now, and my understanding is that there were some incidents as far back as 2007. I thought it best to do a full review,"Alvarez said.

Alvarez also says new allegations have been surfacing. She did not, however, go into details about those.

The state's attorney did say her office's review would include reinterviewing students and investigating any new evidence.

So far, six students are charged with misdemeanors in connection with incidents that allegedly happened this year.

"We will continue to cooperate fully with any external official investigation, in addition to continuing to conduct our own investigation. We take the reports and allegations seriously," spokesperson for the school district Dave Beery told ABC7 Wednesday.

The school district put two soccer coaches on paid leave and reassigned them for teaching duties during the investigation.

A Facebook page has been set up in support of the two coaches, Michael Divincenzo and Emilio Rodriguez.

Divincenzo is named in a lawsuit filed by the mother of one of the alleged victims. The school district admits it knew of a 2008 hazing incident involving the freshman baseball team that Divincenzo coached. All of the people involved in that incident, officials say, were disciplined.

It is unclear how long the review by the state's attorney will take. It also is not clear what charges could be filed as a result.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Get more Local »


Tags:
local, jessica d'onofrio
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement