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Seven to face misdemeanor charges in De La Salle hazing case

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published February 21, 2020


WARREN — Seven students will reportedly face misdemeanor assault charges as a result of a rekindled investigation into hazing allegations within the football program at De La Salle Collegiate High School this past fall.

The latest decision on charges follows a second round of investigation by the Warren Police Department that began in late January.

On Jan. 28, St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Wendling announced that his office had declined to authorize charges after an initial inquiry into allegations that surfaced in October and prompted the school to release a statement cancelling its football season during the week of its first-round state playoff game. Wendling, whose office was handed the case after Macomb County prosecutors cited a potential conflict of interest, at the time blasted De La Salle for its handling of the allegations and concluded that “criminal charges cannot be substantiated at this time.”

“I can tell you that as a result of the denial by the St. Clair prosecutor in the first case — because of the victim not cooperating — that was denied, because of the media release and the media attention, we had other victims come forward,” Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said Feb. 20.

Five of the seven will reportedly face charges as adults. Two will face juvenile charges.

“Thanks to the cooperation of the parents of the victims and the victims themselves, I believe we’ll be bringing closure to the investigation, unless additional victims come forward,” Dwyer said.

The charges are misdemeanor offenses with a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail.  Dwyer would not comment on the alleged “broomsticking” incident, except to say that it did not involve a sexual act.

Those charged were expected to appear in court sometime during the week of Feb. 24.