WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Seven football players at a prominent all-boys Catholic high school in suburban Detroit will be charged with assault after two alleged hazing victims and witnesses came forward, police said.
Warren police have been investigating football players at De La Salle Collegiate High School for allegedly assaulting other players with broomsticks in October 2019. The school has acknowledged that some form of hazing occurred and abruptly ended the team’s season by forfeiting a playoff game last fall.
Prosecutors said last month that they couldn’t bring criminal charges due to a lack of admissible evidence, but witnesses and two alleged victims have since spoken to investigators.
“These are people that came forward after the St. Clair County Prosecutor determined not to write warrants off the original investigation,” Warren Police Chief William Dwyer said Thursday. “For whatever reason, they chose not to discuss this with investigators in the beginning but are cooperating now and will testify.”
Seven players will be charged next week with assault or aggravated assault, which are misdemeanors that carry up to 93 days in jail and fines. Five of them are 18 and will be charged as adults. Two were 16 at the time of the alleged attack and will be processed as juveniles.
St. Clair County Prosecutor Michael Wendling did not immediately comment on the upcoming charges.
The school fired its football coach Mike Giannone in December after the allegations arose. Three students were suspended, but were reinstated last month.