Judge Delays Verdict in Maine West Hazing Case

Judge Jeffrey Warnick to give his verdict next month

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    A judge made an unusual decision in the Maine West hazing trail. On Thursday a Cook County judged delayed his decision in the trial for former soccer coach Michael Divincenzo. NBC5’s Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 20, 2013)

    A Cook County judge on Thursday delayed his decision in the trial of a former Maine West High School soccer coach, charged in connection with brutal hazing allegations at the school.

    Judge Jeffrey Warnick put the trial on hold until next month as he considers the defense's motion for a directed verdict.

    Attorneys: Coach Charged in Hazing Case 'Did Nothing Wrong'

    [CHI] Attorneys: Coach Charged in Hazing Case "Did Nothing Wrong"
    A coach fired over a hazing scandal says he is completely lost without his job. And today he faced a judge. Marion Brooks reports. (Published Tuesday, June 4, 2013)

    Earlier this week Michael Divincenzo, 37, turned down a plea deal of two years supervision in exchange for a guilty plea to charges of misdemeanor battery, hazing and failure to report abuse, and forced the case to move to trial.

    The defense said Thursday Vincenzo's actions do not rise to criminal activity and he was unaware of the hazing because it was students preying on students in these incidents.

    Former Soccer Coach Charged In Hazing Case

    [CHI] Former Soccer Coach Charged In Hazing Case
    Some older players were also initially charged in the case but those charges have been dropped. According to prosecutors: the varsity players hazed freshman players because they thought that's what coach Michael DiVincenzo wanted. Anthony Ponce reports. (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013)

    Prosecutors allege Divincenzo was aware that some members of the soccer team he coached were being attacked by other students who would hold them down and, in some cases, sodomize them through their underwear. They said he perpetuated a culture of hazing and allege that after one incident he told a player "welcome to the team.

    Fifth Student Alleges Hazing at Maine West

    [CHI] Fifth Student Alleges Hazing at Maine West
    In a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County, the boy, now 16, claims the attack happened behind the bleachers on the soccer team's practice field in September of last year. Rob Stafford reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 26, 2013)

    Judge Warnick said he is focused on the accountability of the coach to report such student acts and asked for briefs from both attorneys to be submitted by Dec. 31.

    Warnick said he will then take them under advisement and call all parties back to court Jan. 8.