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4th plaintiff joins Maine West hazing suit

November 28, 2012 3:49:47 PM PST
The families of three more students have joined a lawsuit against Maine West High School in Des Plaines.

It claims school officials knew about hazing activities and did nothing to discipline those involved, including coaches.

The attorney for the four plaintiffs says that he is questioning how administrators for District 207 were not aware of what was happening, and he is calling for the firing of several school officials and coaches.

On Wednesday,a mother who said her son was hazed spoke about his traumatic experience.

"My son was one too many. This should never be allowed to occur again," she said.

She came forward with details of how she said her son was sexually assaulted during a hazing at Maine West. She said in 2008, her son, then a freshman baseball player, was pinned against a locker and his boxers pulled down.

The mother wrote a letter to the principal asking that her son be transferred, a request that was granted. But she said the fact that subsequent students had to endure hazing is unacceptable.

"It sickened me that this could happen to another child," she said.

She and two other families joined the lawsuit filed last week against Maine Township District 207 for a total of four plaintiffs. The three other plaintiffs are freshmen members of the varsity soccer team who say in the fall they were all sexually assaulted during a hazing ritual that was sanctioned by Michael Divincenzo, who coached baseball and soccer.

"The coaches sanctioning this behavior and then the principals and superintendents who know about it do nothing. What happened? This continued," said attorney Tony Romanucci.

Maine Township has stated that they learned about the 2008 incident just last month, saying that, "District 207 is reviewing the 2008 incident and has made it a part of our larger investigation of incidents involving the 2012 West soccer team."

Romanucci says he has heard of hazing on the swim team but that isn't included on the complaint. As of now, he said he doesn't anticipate any more people joining the lawsuit.


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