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.
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.
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.
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.
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.