The former Maine West High School soccer and baseball coach at the center of hazing allegations has been charged with multiple misdemeanors connected to those allegations, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said today.
37-year-old Michael Divincenzo is charged with hazing, failure to report abuse and battery, all Class A misdemeanor offenses. The charges are based on alleged abuse that took place between June 1st and September 26th of last year at Maine West High School.
Four younger soccer players were hazed and sexually abused by older players. While Divicenzo is not alleged to have participated in any sexual abuse or hazing, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says he knew exactly what was going on.
During the news conference at the County Building, Alvarez also explained why the former Maine West teacher and coach is facing misdemeanor charges instead of felony charges.
“Based on evidence we believe the appropriate charge is battery,” she said.
Chicago attorney Antonio Romanucci is representing the students who were abused. He says his clients are happy about the charges announced today.
“It is very satisfying to know that there’s some sense of vindication, “ he said.