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Former Maine High School Soccer Player Claims Sexual Hazing Went on Four Years Ago

Here is the link to the Journal Online

Excerpt:

A varsity soccer player who was among the group that allegedly hazed freshmen teammates at Maine West last year told the court this morning (Wednesday) that the same type of incident happened to him four years ago.

“I got initiated,” the player, now 19, said during the trial of former Maine West coach Michael Divincenzo. “I got taken down and wedgied and they poked me between my buttcheeks.”

Divincenzo is charged with multiple counts of battery, hazing and failure to report hazing. He is the only person charged in the case, which stems from a Sept. 26, 2012 soccer practice in which two freshmen boys were allegedly tackled and sodomized with sticks and fingers by varsity players.

But the player, known as CT, characterized the incident as minor, saying that he was physically OK and even shook hands with the varsity players who attacked him.

“I was totally fine,” CT said. “I didn’t feel like I was getting hurt or anything.”

The player said the team sometimes had conversations about initiating freshmen players during their stretching warm ups at the start of practices. The prosecution tried to demonstrate that Divincenzo was aware of those conversations by showing that he was standing 12 to 15 feet away and attentive during those warm ups. The defense argued the coach was often busy setting up drills during stretching and paid little attention to what players talked about.

On Sept. 26, the former varsity player said he was one of four who held down and initiated the two freshmen players. He did not know the names of the younger students at the time.

 

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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