Skip to main content

The incident was captured on cellphone video and shared widely on social media before police launched an investigation.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

The prosecution is seeking a short sentence behind bars for a teen found guilty of sexually assaulting another student at an all-boys school in Toronto.

The defence is asking for probation with no jail time in the case where the teen was found guilty of gang sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, and assault after a boy was sodomized with a broom handle in a locker room at St. Michael’s College School.

The submissions were made Tuesday at a brief hearing held by video conference. The proceeding was adjourned to allow for a psychiatric assessment of the teen that will be used to form the judge’s sentencing decision in the case.

The teen’s lawyer argued his client feared he’d become the victim of a sexual assault if he didn’t hold his friend’s arm down on Nov. 7, 2018, in the locker room after a football game.

The incident was captured on cellphone video and shared widely on social media before police launched an investigation, which sparked a national discussion on hazing in youth sports.

The judge didn’t buy the accused teen’s argument and said he could have chosen not to participate.

None of the minors involved can be named due to provisions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Crown attorney Sarah De Filippis said she may be seeking four to six months behind bars and 18 months’ probation.

Three teens previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon for their roles in the incident and an earlier one at the school. Each was sentenced to two years of probation. One of them also pleaded guilty to making child pornography for recording one of the sex assaults.

Another student received a two-year probationary sentence with no jail time after pleading guilty. The charges against two others were withdrawn.

The prosecution in the other cases also sought time behind bars, but a different judge decided otherwise.

Geary Tomlinson, the accused teen’s lawyer, said he will be seeking the same probationary sentence as those handed to the others in the case, minus a year for the eight-month delay the pandemic caused the trial and for community service his client has done.

A full sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 15.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.