Police have arrested six students from a prestigious private all-boys Catholic school in Toronto and charged them with sexual assault related to a video that was posted on the internet.
Toronto police inspector Dominic Sinopoli said on Monday the students from St Michael’s College were charged with assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.
The high school is known for its sports programs and has produced many National Hockey League players over the years.
Sinopoli said police first became aware of the assault and video through the media and that the school failed to notify police immediately. Police are investigating at least three other assaults related to hazing incidents. Those arrested are young offenders and cannot be named.
St Michael’s expelled eight students and suspended another in connection with at least two incidents that allegedly took place on campus and were captured on video.
“The incidents of sexualized assault that happened to our students and on our school grounds are simply horrific,” the school said in a statement.
“These incidents are clearly indicative we have a problem. We need to do much better at our culture and our student’s ability to talk to us.”
On Sunday, the school said it was conducting an independent examination into the “underlying attitudes and behaviours” that it said was inconsistent with the school’s culture.
Sinopoli said five students turned themselves in and another was arrested while heading to school. He said several videos are being circulated and police believe there are more videos and incidents.
The school’s principal had been expected at the police press conference but had to return to the school because of a bomb threat. Students and faculty were evacuated.