Maine West Hazing Victim Speaks Out

Man says "coaches were definitely in on it"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For the first time, a victim of the alleged hazing at Maine West High School has come forward to publicly tell his story. (Published Thursday, Jan 3, 2013)

    For the first time, a victim of the alleged hazing at Maine West High School has come forward to publicly tell his story.

    The male, who was 14 when he says the hazing occurred in 2007, spoke at a news conference Thursday at his lawyer's Chicago office, but has asked media outlets to conceal his identity.

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    At least four families have filed suit against the school and some of the coaches, alleging that hazing rituals turned into sexual abuse. Christian Farr reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012)

    He says the first incident happened during a soccer summer camp when he was an incoming freshman. He claims he was tackled by players who "tore my pants and sodomized me with their fingers" and "pushed my face into the ground." He says he didn't see who did it, and never told anyone.

    A second similar incident allegedly occurred during his freshman year while playing on the varsity soccer team.

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    For roughly three hours Wednesday evening, district officials heard from former players and parents who defended Michael DiVinsenzo. Lauren Jiggetts reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012)

    "I felt like they didn't want me there," he said. "When you are held down by multiple guys, you couldn't do much."

    He also says the coaches were "definitely in on it."

    Coach Michael Divincenzo was fired last month following a civil lawsuit alleging he condoned a culture of hazing. Four students say they were sexually assaulted by their teammates and that Divincenzo and freshman coach Emilio Rodriguez knew what was going on.

    The alleged victim, who is now a sophomore in college, said the attack ruined his high school experience, prompting him to quit the soccer team and other sports activities.

    "I always thought about it and still think of it to this day," he said. "I feel anger because it is still going on."

    The students' lawyer, Antonio Romanucci, has said the hazing may go back as far as 2006. Six Maine West students have been charged as juveniles with battery and hazing while four other players have been disciplined by the school.