The cases against two former St. Michael’s College School students charged in a series of alleged sex assaults at the school have “concluded,” according to a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.
The teen boys were each charged with sexual assault with a weapon, gang sexual assault and assault over two separate incidents at the private all-boys’ school last year.
The criminal cases of three of seven students charged in three incidents at the school have now concluded. The Crown dropped charges of sexual assault with a weapon, gang sexual assault and assault against one of the teens earlier this month because she found there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
A ministry spokesperson said he cannot release details of how the two cases ended — including basic information such as whether the charges were withdrawn or if they ended with a plea, or on what date the boys appeared in court — without a court order, citing the “strict restrictions” of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The cases of the other four students remain before the courts, the spokesperson said.
The act limits access to youth court records “including information contained in those records, such as the young person’s name, offence, and resolution of the matter,” he said.
None of the teens in the St. Michael’s cases can be named due to a publication ban on their identities imposed under the act because they are under the age of 18.
Youth criminal cases are heard in open courts and media are allowed to report on what occurs, including the outcomes of court cases, while complying with publication bans.
Youth courts are still subject to the open court principle that ensures the justice system operates with transparency and accountability. The Star has repeatedly and successfully fought to access basic information in youth cases.
One of the two whose cases have “concluded” was charged in an alleged November 2018 sexual assault in what appeared to a be a school locker room. The incident sparked a police investigation after a short cellphone video was shared on social media and reported by the media.
In an email, the teen’s lawyer said: “As a matter of law, I am unable to comment on any matters at any time concerning any young persons under the YCJA.”
The Star has viewed the 22-second video in which a young teen is held down by several boys in what appears to be a locker room. The video shows the teen being sexually assaulted by two boys with what appeared to be a broomstick. Someone is heard yelling, “Get it in there,” and “Put it in” and, “Chill, chill, chill.”
A total of six students were charged with assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon after the media contacted police about the video.
In December, police laid further charges over two earlier incidents, in September and October, charging a seventh student and laying new charges against four of the previously charged teens.
The other student whose case has been resolved was facing charges of gang sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and assault in connection with an Oct. 17 incident involving a different victim from the alleged November gang sexual assault.
The teen’s lawyer is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
The October incident allegedly took place in a locker room and was described by police as similar to the November incident.
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Four teens, including two who were charged in all three incidents, and two who are charged in both the October and November alleged gang sexual assaults continue to face charges, with upcoming court dates in the fall.
St. Michael’s launched an internal review following the police investigation and charges. The final report was released last week and found “systemic bullying” remains an issue at the school. A number of recommendations were made and the school has decided to reinstate the football team with new “safeguards” in place for the fall.