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Article updated: 1/15/2013 3:46 PM

District 207 receives Cook County subpoenas on hazing scandal

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Maine Township High School District 207 officials Tuesday morning confirmed the district has received subpoenas for documents from the Cook County state's attorney's office as part of its investigating into allegations of hazing at Maine West High School dating back to 2007.

District officials have been tight lipped about the scandal since two freshman soccer players claimed they had been hazed by senior members of the varsity boys soccer team in September. The allegations led to a lawsuit being filed against the school district, Maine West, the school's administration, coaches and staff by four current and former students.

Earlier this month, District 207 school board directed the district's counsel to draft an agreement with an independent investigator to look into the hazing allegations. The school board last month fired Maine West's head boys varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo, and is considering disciplinary action against other Maine West staff.

"In addition to moving forward in implementing its own steps, including the anticipated hiring of an independent investigator later this month to address this situation, District 207 and Maine West continue to cooperate fully with all agencies conducting their own investigations, including the Cook County State's Attorney, Des Plaines Police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services," according to a district statement released Tuesday.

The Sept. 26 hazing involved two 14-year-old freshman members of the varsity boys soccer team who said they were sexually assaulted inside the school as part of a hazing ritual, according to police. Five juveniles were subsequently charged with misdemeanor battery, and a sixth juvenile was charged after police uncovered evidence of another attack that they say occurred during a summer soccer camp.

"District 207 will not discuss matters related to any of the ongoing investigations," Tuesday's statement said. "We will continue to use appropriate discretion regarding our public comments on this matter, and provide proactive communications to parents and other interested community members detailing the multiple strategies we are implementing to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future."

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