Prosecutor handling Warren De La Salle hazing case speaks out

Warren De La Salle.jpg
Posted at 10:21 PM, Nov 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-29 23:21:14-05

(WXYZ) — The high-profile case into alleged hazing and assault on the football team at De La Salle Collegiate in Warren is now in the hands of a new prosecutor speaking out for the first time.

The St. Clair County Prosecutor has a team of people now working this case. But, he says a charging decision could still be weeks away.

“It's a challenging case. Not just based on the age of the offenders but the team atmosphere. There are a lot of different witnesses with different perspectives that need to be addressed” says Michael Wendling.

Warren Police say hazing on the football team crossed the line into assault and battery, but the prosecutor in Macomb County quickly recused himself due to a conflict of interest in his office.

“Allegations that were made are serious in nature, they have to be addressed. We don’t treat it any different than any other criminal case we get” says Wendling.

He adds, “I would like to say the case would move relatively quickly in our office. Just in a quick review, I think there’s some things were going to ask them to do before we make a decision.”

As of now, the case remains open with police still hoping to conduct more interviews.

“We believe there are other victims and we need to identify those victims, and we need better cooperation quite frankly from those parents that have not allowed us to interview their sons” says Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.

Police have requested that three people be charged. That includes an 18-year-old who was only 17 at the time of an alleged incident on October 19. He could be charged as an adult.

Two 16-year-olds would be charged as juveniles.

The school abruptly canceled their season in November, after claims varsity players used broomsticks in a sexual manner to haze younger players in the locker room ritual.

Police say there was no penetration. Out of 87 players, police say 18 have refused to talk. The school is not adding any comment at this time.

The prosecutor is hopeful to learn more next week. That could include talking again with an alleged victim.