DETROIT (AP) — No charges will be filed in an investigation of hazing by football players at a prominent all-boys school in suburban Detroit due to a lack of cooperation from staff and families, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
“While we are confident that a criminal incident did occur, we do not have admissible evidence to move forward with prosecution,” said Mike Wendling, the St. Clair County prosecutor. “The lack of evidence is the result of multiple circumstances that are beyond our control.”
The controversy has rocked De La Salle Collegiate, a Catholic school and football powerhouse in Warren.
Warren police investigated allegations that De La Salle players were hazed by other players with broomsticks. The school acknowledged that some type of hazing occurred and took the extraordinary step of suddenly ending the team’s season by forfeiting a playoff game last fall.
Wendling said police weren’t contacted until after the school’s internal investigation. He said De La Salle has declined to turn over documents based on advice from its lawyers.
The majority of the coaching staff also has declined to speak to police, said Wendling, who took the case because of a conflict in the Macomb County prosecutor’s office.
“The non-cooperation from De La Salle staff is especially upsetting considering that they are the people who have an obligation to protect these children and are mandated to report any misconduct,” the prosecutor said.
“Additionally, the victims and their families have not provided sufficient information upon which to file charges,” Wendling said.
A message seeking comment was left with De La Salle’s president.
Three students who were suspects were recently reinstated after weeks away from school.
Mike Giannone, who won two state championships as De La Salle’s coach, is no longer leading the team.
“This has been a learning experience for our school, and we have made corrective actions to ensure the alleged hazing activities never happen again,” De La Salle said on Jan. 16.