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.
Another family has officially joined a lawsuit alleging a culture of hazing within Maine West High School's athletic programs.
Attorney Tony Romanucci held a news conference Wednesday and claimed the hazing goes back to 2007, and possibly as far back as 2006.
The hazing incidents came to light last week when a mother said her freshman son was sexually assaulted in September during a hazing ritual by other members of the soccer team.
Earlier this week, Maine Township school district officials said they recently learned of another hazing incident dating back to 2008. That incident involved players on the baseball team, and was coached by Michael Divincenzo -- who also coached the soccer team involved in the most recent incident.
On Wednesday, Romanucci said hazing incidents also occured in the swimming and water polo programs at the school.
"What they did is wrong, and it continues be wrong," Romanucci said. "Kids think they can get away with it."
A mother whose son was a freshman on the school's baseball team in 2007-2008 attended the news conference in disguise. She said her son was pinned against lockers, had his boxers ripped off and was sexually assaulted by other members of team. She said the coach encouraged the hazing and when she went to the principal to complain, the incident was "swept under the rug."
District officials say they were not made aware of the 2008 incident until November 16th, after the soccer incident came to light. Superintendent Ken Wallace says the proper agencies have been notified and an internal investigation has been launched.
Divincenzo and another coach were reassigned with pay after officials learned of the alleged soccer hazing, and three other part-time coaches were let go.
Six Maine West students have been charged as juveniles with battery and hazing while four other players have been disciplined by the school.