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Teen feels ‘heavy stigma’ from St. Michael’s sex assault, court hears

The parents of a teen boy who was sexually assaulted at a prestigious all-boys Catholic high school in Toronto say their son still can’t address what happened to him.

Crown attorney Erin McNamara read the parents’ victim impact statement in a Toronto court Thursday at a sentencing hearing for three former students of St. Michael’s College School.

The three pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon against two victims.

Another teen also pleaded guilty to making child pornography for recording the sex assault with his phone.

McNamara says one of the victims couldn’t bring himself to provide a statement because it would force him to relive the experience.

But his parents said the teen is struggling.

“He now feels he carries a very heavy stigma,” they wrote. “We have had to carry this burden alone.”

They said they can’t tell what’s normal teenage emotion or related to the trauma of being sexually assaulted. The parents said the teen’s sibling has also been affected by what happened.

“They feel very helpless,” the parents said through the prosecutor.

McNamara said the other victim and his family declined to give a statement.

Possible jail time

The Crown said time in custody is on the table for the three boys, calling their acts violent offences.

The allegations surfaced last year and sparked a national conversation about bullying.

Both incidents took place inside a locker room at St. Michael’s College School.(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The charges stem from two separate incidents that happened in October and November of last year. None of the accused or the victims can be identified due to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Court heard at the guilty plea that the three boys were part of one of the school’s football teams. In one incident on Oct. 17, 2018, court heard the boys took down their teammate in the school’s locker room, ripped his pants off and inserted a broom handle into the boy’s anus.

A similar incident occurred on Nov. 7 after a football game when a teen who wasn’t on the team came into the locker room looking for a ride home and was jumped by a group of boys.

The group pulled the teen’s pants down and two teens sexually assaulted him with a broom handle. That incident was captured on video and shared widely on social media.

On Thursday, the judge viewed the video in a separate courtroom with the Crown attorney and the lawyers of the three teens.

“The recording of the event is an aggravating factor,” McNamara said. The sexual assault and assault charges against a fourth student were withdrawn in August.

The cases of two other students accused in the scandal have concluded, but the Ministry of the Attorney General has refused to disclose those outcomes. A seventh teen is set to go to trial next March.

Credits belong to : www.cbc.ca

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