Police investigate alleged sexual assault involving students at St. Michaels College

Police investigate alleged sexual assault involving students at St. Michael\s College
St. Michaels College School students expelled after video of alleged group sex assault circulates
St. Michaels College School has expelled several students amidst an investigation into alleged group assaults, one of them sexual in nature, that students say were videotaped and circulated on social media.

CityNews has viewed two disturbing videos that appear to show the attacks. In one of them, a teen boy surrounded by a group is naked from the waist down and appears to be sexually assaulted with a broomstick while his legs are being held.

In the other, a different teen boy is inside a sink in his underwear. Water is run over him and several students are slapping his bare skin.

In a statement Wednesday night, police said investigators from the departments Child Exploitation Section have determined that the video "meets the definition of child pornography," and that anyone possessing a copy should delete it immediately.

On Wednesday night police warned anyone in possession of the alleged sexual assault video to delete it immediately or face potential child porn charges.

Police released few details but said the investigation involved St. Michaels College School, an all-boys Catholic institution that teaches grades 7 through 12, and officers believe a video depicting an alleged assault has been circulating.

“Investigators from the Child Exploitation Section have been consulted and have determined the video meets the definition of child pornography,” police said in a release. “Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography. The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared with anyone.”

A follow-up email to parents said additional support would be available for students who need it. The email from the director of student affairs said boys who need someone to talk to can approach any guidance counsellor.

The school said it launched an internal investigation that resulted in several students being expelled.

TORONTO — An investigation is underway into an alleged sexual assault at a prestigious private school in Toronto, police said Wednesday as the institution announced it had expelled students over two serious incidents.

Students at the all-boys private school at 1515 Bathurst St. told CityNews that video of the alleged incidents were posted on multiple Instagram accounts before being removed.

"The nature of student conduct in each case is injurious to the moral tone of the school and the well-being of our students," the school wrote. "The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour."

A student said one of the alleged incidents took place in a school washroom, adding that teachers were addressing the situation with students in class on Wednesday.

“This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct. The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour. The school administration promptly conducted an internal investigation, including meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.

The school told parents it addressed the student body in a “formal assembly” on Wednesday afternoon, and would talk to Grade 9 students who were participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day on Thursday.

Global News contacted Greg Reeves, the principal of the school, who said the incident, “wasn’t sodomy.” He confirmed students were expelled after the incident. Reeves didn’t say how many students were expelled. Students and parents said at least six athletes were sent home.

“Given police involvement, and respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all parties, the school will not be making any further comments at this time,” it said.

“As a result, swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions. We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.”

A follow-up email to parents said additional support would be available for students who need it. The email from the director of student affairs said boys who need someone to talk to can approach any guidance counsellor.

CityNews has learned that the alleged assaults involved members of sports teams, as well as other students between the ages of 15 and 17.

“At St. Michaels College School, nothing matters more than the safety and well-being of our students. Teaching our students goodness, discipline, and knowledge in an environment where respect for others is paramount is a responsibility we take very seriously.

“This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct. The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour. 

Global News has seen two online videos showing a group of students appearing to assault another teen. In one of the videos, the alleged victim can be seen struggling on the ground with his pants down as the boys around him attempt to sodomize him with a broomstick.

The school administration promptly conducted an internal investigation, including meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.  As a result, swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions.

The letter said administration at the school was notified about the incidents on Monday and immediately began an internal investigation which included notifying police and meeting individually with the students involved and their parents. Police, however, told CP24 that detectives from 13 Division only began an investigation after receiving information from the media.

We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.”

Provincial NDP lawmaker Jill Andrew, who represents the riding that includes St. Michael’s College School, calls the reports of alleged sexual assault “deeply disturbing.”

In a subsequent statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the school confirmed that swift and decisive disciplinary action was undertaken as a result of the internal investigation, including expulsions.

“Every student should be able to attend school in an environment where they are safe,” Andrew said in a statement Wednesday evening.

In the letter to parents, the principal of the school said that a formal assembly was held this afternoon, though the students who spoke to CP24 said that the specifics of the alleged incidents were not discussed at that assembly.

“I join with my community of St. Paul’s in saying that sexual violence has no place in our community.”

We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred, the statement reads. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.

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News of the police investigation comes after the principal of the school issued a letter to parents earlier on Wednesday, notifying them about two very serious incidents that recently occurred on campus.

@Gabe Adelman: you are not alone. This school doesnt create leaders, its only objective was to tear you down and try to make you conform to their small minded ideology. Gabe, be proud that you posted the truth. I hope more ex st. Mikes students (my son included) are as courageous and honorable as you.

"The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared with anyone," police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said in a statement. Police say the investigation is with officers from 13 Division and the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). 

@Midiala Hernandez: This is beyond bullying. It is an aggravated sexual assault, it is rape. The students involved in this horrific act must be charged, tried and if there is justice, convicted of their crime.

Toronto police say they're investigating an alleged sexual assault involving students at a Catholic boys' private school, where, according to school officials, some pupils have already been expelled. 

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Police are investigating an alleged assault involving students at St. Michaels College School, which was reportedly captured on video and distributed via social media.

News of the police investigation comes after the principal of the school issued a letter to parents earlier on Wednesday, notifying them about two very serious incidents that recently occurred on campus.

St. Michael's College said Wednesday it "promptly conducted an internal investigation, including meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.

The letter did not provide details about the incidents but said the nature of student conduct in each case is injurious to the moral tone of the school and the well-being of our students.

Reeves said the administration was informed of them on Monday, and addressed the student body in a formal assembly Wednesday. The school teaches Grades 7 through 12. 

The letter said administration at the school was notified about the incidents on Monday and immediately began an internal investigation which included notifying police and meeting individually with the students involved and their parents. Police, however, told CP24 that detectives from 13 Division only began an investigation after receiving information from the media.

St. Michaels College has a long history in Toronto, opening in the fall of 1852 to provide a combination of what would now be considered high school and university education. The school moved into its current location at Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue West in the 1950s. Now, St. Michaels students range from Grade 7 to 12, and the school describes its program as an enriched, Catholic, Liberal Arts education that aims to filter its students into university.

In a subsequent statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the school confirmed that swift and decisive disciplinary action was undertaken as a result of the internal investigation, including expulsions.

The Toronto police forces 13 Division and Child and Youth Advocacy Centre – a specialized unit in the polices sex-crimes department that looks into issues of child abuse – released a statement late on Wednesday saying they believed a video of the alleged assault was being circulated and should be considered child pornography. They advised anyone in possession of the suspected video to delete it without sharing it.

We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred, the statement reads. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.

Police have not released any information about the incidents, citing the nature of the allegations and the involvement of young people.

Three students who spoke to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon said that they are aware of a recent incident in which astudent was sexually assaulted as part of some sort of hazing ritual. The students said that multiple students held down the victim during the alleged attack.

Graphic videos of the alleged incidents were posted on social media. One of the videos, obtained by CTV News Toronto, appears to show a student being assaulted with an object.

This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct, the midtown all-boys school wrote in a posting on its website on Wednesday afternoon.

I havent seen it (the video) – Id rather not either, the student said, confirming students at the school had recently been talking about a video.

I have no idea who it is (the alleged victim) but I wish I did so I could talk to him and let him know that we are all on his side, the student said. None of this should have happened.

The Toronto police forces 13 Division and Child and Youth Advocacy Centre – a specialized unit in the polices sex-crimes department that looks into issues of child abuse – released a statement late on Wednesday saying they believed a video of the alleged assault was being circulated and should be considered child pornography. They advised anyone in possession of the suspected video to delete it without sharing it.

In the letter to parents, the principal of the school said that a formal assembly was held this afternoon, though the students who spoke to CP24 said that the specifics of the alleged incidents were not discussed at that assembly.

St. Michaels conducted an internal investigation, the schools statement said, and met individually with the students involved and their parents. As a result, swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions. We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred.

The students also said that as many as 10 people have been expelled as a result of the incidents, though that detail has not been confirmed by school officials.

Toronto police issued a statement on Wednesday evening saying the video meets the definition of child pornography.

Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography, the statement said. The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared.

This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct, the midtown all-boys school wrote in a posting on its website on Wednesday afternoon.

St. Michaels College School is an all-boys private school located near St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street. Annual tuition at the school is $19,500 plus fees.