Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former SJR student pleads guilty to hazing

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The final legal chapter has been written on a series of sexually explicit "hazing" incidents at a Winnipeg private school.

A 21-year-old Winnipeg man is the last of four accused to plead guilty to his role in the 2009 attacks. The accused, who was 17 at the time and can’t be named, admitted Tuesday to six charges of assault with a weapon. He will be sentenced at a later date and remains free on bail.

Three other younger teens previously admitted to the same charges and were given probation under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The Crown dropped numerous other charges against the four accused, including multiple counts of sexual assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats.

Sources told the Free Press at least some of the alleged victims have since left the school or the country, which resulted in some of the charges not being pursued.

Police identified at least 12 students at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School who were abused between September and December 2009, court previously heard. The four accused admitted to attacking six of them with a wooden walking stick which was "pressed against their buttocks and anal area."

Police began investigating after reports that several senior students sexually assaulted younger students who were boarders at the SJR campus. Initial claims from the campus were that the accused forced young classmates to the ground and threatened to sodomize them with a stick.

The school said the victims were in grades 8 through 11. Three of the accused attackers were in Grade 12 and the other was in Grade 11. Two of the accused were immediately expelled and the other two were suspended and later withdrew from SJR.

There are about 830 students at SJR, with 50 of them living on campus as boarding students.




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