Toronto Catholic school principal, president resign after students charged in sexual assault

Two leaders of an all-boys Catholic school in Toronto have resigned as police investigate cases of sexual assault.

President Jefferson Thompson and Principal Greg Reeves are leaving St. Michael’s College School, the school said in a statement. It cited their desire to let the school move forward without distractions.

Toronto police this week arrested six male students for alleged sexual assault of other male students. Some of the incidents were caught on tape.

Charges of assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon were filed against each of the suspected students, said Inspector Dominic Sinopoli, who leads the sex crimes unit. The school serves students in grades seven through 12, its website states.

Police learned about the assault last week and believe the incident happened this school year, he said. Authorities are investigating other possible crimes, he said, telling reporters Tuesday that the department has as many as four videos.

“We have reason to believe there are more videos and more incidents,” Sinopoli said.

The episodes appear to have begun as hazing, then turned criminal, he said.

The school has expelled eight students as a result of the police investigation, it said in a statement.

Police on Tuesday reported receiving two new videos of a threatening event and an assault with a belt at the school, they said. Those are being investigated as criminal offenses, Sinopoli said.

The scandal has roiled St. Michael’s College School, which was founded in 1852 and is Ontario’s only independent Catholic school for young men, its website states.

The incidents are “offensive to everything we strive to teach our students,” St. Michael’s College School said in a statement.

“The victims of these horrendous acts are being supported and cared for,” the school said. “We remain focused on our entire student body — their safety, care, and well-being are our main priority.”