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updated: 8/7/2013 2:49 PM

Maine West hazing case against coach gets continuance

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  • Former Maine West High School head varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo arrives for a June court appearance in Skokie.

      Former Maine West High School head varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo arrives for a June court appearance in Skokie.
    Photo courtesy of ABC 7

 
 

A new court date was set Wednesday morning in the case against former Maine West High School head varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo, who is charged with hazing, battery and failure to report abuse.

Divincenzo must appear for a status hearing at 9 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Cook County courthouse in Skokie.

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There is a protective order barring the defense from releasing any information gathered in discovery to the media, defense attorney Thomas Breen said.

Divincenzo, 37, of Elk Grove Village was present but did not speak.

The Cook County state's attorney's office filed charges against Divincenzo in May as it dropped charges against six juveniles following a five-month investigation into the hazing allegations.

The charges, all misdemeanors, are based on events that were reported to have occurred between June 1 and Sept. 26 last year. If found guilty, Divincenzo could be sentenced to anything from supervised probation to one year in jail.

Breen maintained the fired teacher did nothing wrong.

"We absolutely vehemently deny these charges," Breen said. "It's terribly unfortunate that he's charged with anything."

Two 14-year-old freshmen on the varsity boys soccer team first said last fall that they had been sexually assaulted by seniors inside the Des Plaines school as part of a hazing ritual.

A lawsuit was later filed alleging instances of hazing of a freshman baseball player and three freshman soccer players dating back to 2007, naming as defendants Maine Township High School District 207, the school's principal and soccer coaches Divincenzo and Emilio Rodriguez.

Both Divincenzo and Rodriguez were initially suspended without pay before later being fired.

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