A Toronto private school was sued over a student’s alleged sexual assault. The school’s name was kept secret until now
The story of how Toronto’s private Catholic high school went from a place where people come to learn to become adults into a place where alleged sexual assaults are swept under the carpet — and for whose former principal the police were forced to investigate and file charges — is one of the most remarkable stories in recent memory.
It has unfolded against the backdrop of a national controversy about mandatory reporting laws and the way they are implemented. It’s a story that’s sparked outrage across the country — including by the president, who accused the Catholic Church, including the Toronto school, of a “cover-up” on Monday.
In March, the Toronto Star reported on the allegations against a former Grade 12 student at St. Michael’s College Preparatory School, alleging that he had been sexually assaulted by another student.
The man who brought the allegations to police, and who is now facing two charges of sexual assault, was a student at St. Michael’s who graduated in 2009. And his name has been withheld.
But the story also has powerful historical echoes.
It began about two months earlier when the school’s former principal, Fr. Gregory Mancinelli, a man who had been a priest for 40 years, decided to retire and move to a parish in his hometown of St. Peter’s, near Toronto. He was immediately tasked with replacing him.
“In hindsight, I realized I should have given him a grace period,” St. Michael’s said in a statement to the Star on Sunday.
With nearly a quarter of its enrolment from out of province, St. Michael’s is one of the largest private schools in Canada.
The school has maintained that the former student’s allegations were untrue. And it released the name the man gave law