A football coach at a private all-boys Toronto Catholic school is telling a court he did not see a teen accused of sexual assault in a video of the incident.
Kevin Shaugnessy says he did not know about a sexual assault of a student in a locker room at St. Michael’s College School on Nov. 7, 2018, until nearly a week later.
He says he helped identify three people involved in the incident but none were the accused, who cannot be named owing to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The accused teen has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of gang sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon related to two incidents in which students were sexually assaulted with a broom handle.
The incidents involved different victims and took place in October and November, 2018.
Mr. Shaugnessy said he first found out about the Nov. 7 incident when he was called into the principal’s office on Nov. 12 and shown a video that was being circulated among students.
The video, which was played in court in March, 2020, when the trial began, shows a boy being sexually assaulted as others cheered and laughed.
The lead detective said at the time the accused was holding the victims hands.
The school’s vice-principal testified last week that he recognized the accused holding down the arms of the victim.
Mr. Shaughnessy said he could only identify three students in the video – two people holding the victim down and a third wielding the broomstick – but none were the accused.
“Even to this day I don’t recall seeing him in the video I was shown that day,” he said.
Mr. Shaughnessy said he recalled seeing the accused at the top of the stairs to the locker room, but that he refused to allow him inside because it was for the team only. Court heard the accused was on the team but had quit.
Mr. Shaughnessy said he was upset that no one on the team either helped the victim in the video or came forward afterward.
“It was disappointing that not one of them would have come forward and let us know this had happened,” said Mr. Shaughnessy, who is now a guidance counsellor at the school.
He said he was also disappointed with the school administration’s response to the incident, which made headlines shortly after he found out about it.
In December, court viewed two videos in which one of the complainants recounted the incidents to a police investigator.
In one video, he described being sexually assaulted with a broom handle by a group of students in the school’s locker room in October, 2018.
In the second recording, he recalled seeing a group sexually assault another student in a similar way the following month, also in the locker room.
The complainant did not mention the accused when discussing the October incident, but alleged the teen held back the arms of the victim in the November assault.
The teen who testified was initially one of the suspects in the November, 2018, incident, but the charges against him were dropped.
Three teens have pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon for their roles in the incidents and have been sentenced to two years of probation.
One of them also pleaded guilty to making child pornography for recording one of the sex assaults in a video that was then widely distributed.
Another student received a two-year probationary sentence with no jail time after pleading guilty. The charges against another student, aside from the one who testified, were withdrawn.
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