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4 of 7 players charged in Warren De La Salle football hazing case make first appearance in court

Galiko Lovelace, Michael Young, Sean Bonery, Ricky Pearson appear via video arraignment

Four students arraigned in De La Salle football team hazing investigation
Four students arraigned in De La Salle football team hazing investigation

WARREN, Mich. – Four of the seven players charged in connection with the Warren De La Salle football hazing case made their first appearances in court Monday.

Galiko Lovelace, Michael Young, Sean Bonery and Ricky Pearson were on video in court for arraignment. A fifth player will be charged as an adult, and the other two will be charged as minors.

From left to right: Galiko Lovelace, Michael Young, Ricky Pearson, Sean Bonery (WDIV)

All four entered not guilty pleas and were given $1,000 bonds. They were instructed not to have contact with the victims or show “any assaultive behavior.” They were also told not to leave the state of Michigan.

Lovelace is 17 years old and lives in Sterling Heights. The other three students are 18 years old, officials said.

The judge issued an 8 p.m. curfew for Lovelace. He said Pearson is allowed to leave the state to go to Florida with his family for a pre-planned vacation.

Young’s attorney said he is set to attend Eastern Illinois University after graduation.

He said Pearson is set to attend Albion College. Pearson is the president of the Black Student Association and a member of the National Honor Society, according to his attorney.

You can watch the full arraignment in the video below:

4 Warren De La Salle football players appear in court for arraignment in hazing investigation
4 Warren De La Salle football players appear in court for arraignment in hazing investigation

Here are the four players who appeared via video arraignment on Monday:

Galiko Lovelace at his arraignment on Feb. 24, 2020. (WDIV)
Michael Young at his arraignment on Feb. 24, 2020. (WDIV)
Ricky Pearson at his arraignment on Feb. 24, 2020. (WDIV)
Sean Bonery at his arraignment on Feb. 24, 2020. (WDIV)

Hazing investigation

Warren police conducted an investigation into the De La Salle football program after the team forfeited its Michigan high school playoff game due to allegations of hazing. When officials completed their investigation, they recommended charges against three students -- an 18-year-old and two 16-year-olds.

Investigators said the incident happened Oct. 19 at a team dinner. Many of the younger players knew the hazing was coming, so they ran from their teammates, officials said.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said an investigation revealed the students allegedly held a victim to the floor of the locker room and used a broom during the incident.

Waren police said charges will be brought against seven people -- five as adults and two as minors. They will face misdemeanor charges of either assault or assault and battery, according to the Warren Police Department.

Prosecutors revealed Jan. 28 that they didn’t have enough evidence to take the case to court, suggesting the school officials withheld important documents and saying important evidence was destroyed before they received the case.

The next day, a new victim came forward. The family of a football player who said he was victimized during the alleged hazing was unhappy with the prosecutors’ decision. They said they were willing to talk to police.

A second accuser came forward the following day -- less than 48 hours after the prosecutors’ decision not to file charges.

On Feb. 13, more than 100 De La Salle parents gathered to share their disgust about how the school handled the allegations.

Coverage timeline


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.