TORONTO — Another St. Mike's student faces sexual assault charges alongside six peers who were charged in November, but Toronto police say the prestigious all-boys Catholic private school does not face any widespread systemic or historical problems.
The young person was arrested on Wednesday and charged with assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon related to an incident that happened Oct. 17 in St. Michael's College School's locker room, said Toronto Police Service Insp. Domenic Sinopoli. It may have been filmed, but police don't have the video. Five other students were also charged in this incident, and already face the same set of charges for a separate alleged assault that occurred Nov. 7.
We are committed to understanding why this behaviour happened and what led to it, and to putting measures in place to ensure it does not happen again.Rev. Andrew Leung, St. Michael's College interim president
Two of these students also face additional charges of assault and assault with a weapon in relation to a third alleged incident that happened Sept. 18, said Sinopoli. From these three incidents, there are two victims.
"We do not have any evidence or complaints to suggest this type of behaviour extended outside of this school year or involved anyone outside of this group of students," he said. "Our research into these incidents and our past dealings with the college did not suggest any trend that would believe this is an ongoing or system problem.
"We have not received any reports of historical physical or sexual abuse."
When asked if any of the victims were also the accused, Sinopoli said he wasn't ready to comment.
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No adults, including former St. Mike's principal Greg Reeves, coaches and teachers, will face charges for waiting to report incidents to police when two videos surfaced social media in November. Reeves learned of the video on Nov. 12, but police were only informed two days later by media.
Reeves resigned shortly after the scandal broke, along with the president of the school's board of directors.
One video showed a teen boy held down in a locker room as he was violated with what appears to be a broomstick. Another showed a different teenager in his underwear placed in a large sink by other boys who splashed water at him and slapped him.
"We consulted with the attorney general who confirmed no charges were warranted," Sinopoli said. "As it stands right now, we have no information to suggest any of the teachers, any of the coaching staff, were aware of these occurrences."
Following the police's announcement Wednesday, St. Mike's released a statement.
"This is another painful and heartbreaking day, but also a necessary step in our school's journey as we learn the truth about the terrible incidents that happened, and rededicate ourselves to both immediate and long-term change," St. Mike's said.
Watch: How the St. Michael's College School scandal unfolded. Story continues below.
Police investigated and closed the investigation of five other incidents, including reported assaults, assaults with a weapon and a threat, without laying charges either because there were no criminal allegations or the victims decided not to participate, Sinopoli said.
St. Mike's football and basketball players were involved in all eight incidents, St. Mike's said. St. Mike's has expelled eight students and is undergoing an independent review of the school's culture. It has cancelled its varsity basketball season, and its upcoming football season.
"We are committed to understanding why this behaviour happened and what led to it, and to putting measures in place to ensure it does not happen again," the school said.
Police still welcome anyone with information to come forward. They have "credible evidence" people are still in possession of one of the videos, and are trying to upload it to social media, a "constant remind to the victims of the traume they have endured," Sinopoli said. "We will be relentless in this regard. You will be caught and you will be charged."
Following the allegations, several alumni spoke out about their negative experiences while students, including bullying and violent hazing. In a closed Facebook group, an alumnus shamed an outspoken critic of the school by posting offensive images that were later removed.