The President of Mater Dei leaves after an alleged defamation investigation

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS) – Mater Dei High School President Father Walter E. Jenkins will not be returning to the Catholic campus after the winter break as attorneys for a Sacramento law firm prepare to interview students and staff to question an investigation into alleged harassment by football team players.

Jenkins became president of Mater Dei in July after serving as president of Holy Cross High School in Queens, New York.

Erin CO Barisano, the Headmistress of the Diocese of Orange, sent a letter to the parents explaining that Jenkins was not released but was instead returning to the Order of Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana, where he “will take on a new role.” ” become. according to the Orange County Register. “There is no link between the lawsuit and his departure from school, and making such a link is deeply unfair to Father Jenkins, who served Mater Dei well during his tenure.”

A lawsuit filed in November by the parents of a former soccer player accused the school and the Catholic Diocese of Orange of trying to cover up a locker room fight in which a player suffered traumatic brain injury.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer reviewed a Santa Ana police report recommending that the taller player who beat the shorter player be charged with a crime. He concluded in a November 30 press release that “none of the players involved in this fight were forced to participate against their will … there is not a single evidence that this was anything other than a two-way combat situation willing participants “. who exchanged blow after blow, including repeated blows to the head. “

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