NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Judgement day has come for six Sayreville High School football players accused of sexually assaulting and abusing younger team mates, according to officials.
In a press release Monday afternoon, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Jim O’Neill, said that the six players charged with assaulting four younger members of the team would all be placed on probationary terms and have to each serve 50 hours of community service.
None of the juveniles, however, would have to register as sex offenders under Megan’s Law, according to the release.
The sentences were imposed in Family Court in New Brunswick.
A seventh juvenile charged in the case is still awaiting trial in Family Court, according to the release.
The case started last year when police and school officials were notified that several juvenile football players had been abused at the hands of their older team mates during a hazing ritual last fall.
According to the release, the first incident took place on Sept. 19 when a 17-year-old player “body slammed” a 15-year-old player and then “pretended” to stomp and kick him, exposing him to bodily injury.
A week later, the same 17-year-old, two other juveniles and a 16-year-old player, knocked a 14-year-old boy to the ground.
Two members of the group grabbed the boy’s penis and tried to digitally penetrate his anus, according to the release.
Several other unidentified students surrounded the victim during the attack, the release said.
On Sept. 29, three 15-year-old defendants assaulted a 14-year-old boy by digitally penetrating his anus through his clothes as two of the defendants held him down.
The next day, one of the 15-year-old boys swiped his fingers through the buttocks of yet another 14-year-old boy, according to the release.
The six football players and the other juvenile charged in the attacks were taken into custody in October.
The case caused Sayreville to forfeit it’s highly anticipated game against South Brunswick High School and then, the entire season.
The entire coaching staff was also replaced following the incidents.
Four of the six players pleaded guilty to disorderly persons offenses and hazing as part of a deal reached with prosecutors and will each be on probation for two years, according to the release.
As a result, the county said it would not make them register as sex offenders after speaking to the families of the victims.
Two other players were placed on one-year of probation for their roles in the assaults, according to the release.
“As was previously disclosed, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that the defendants would not be tried as adults and that the Middlesex County Family Court remains the proper venue for these cases,” Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in the release. “While the Code of Juvenile Justice provides confidentiality for the protection of juveniles, that confidentiality, unfortunately, allows for certain individuals to unscrupulously mislead the public as to what occurred at the school and during juvenile proceedings.”
The four juvenile defendants who have pleaded guilty have been ordered to provide truthful testimony against their co-defendants, and were ordered to have no contact with the victims, according to the release.
In addition, one of them was placed on curfew while serving his two-year probationary term.
“The facts that were alleged by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at the beginning of this case have clearly been proven in a court of law. The community of Sayreville needs to know that these serious crimes occurred, and now must work together to heal,” Prosecutor Carey said. “I thank those who went to extraordinary lengths throughout the proceedings to protect the rights of the victims, the juvenile delinquents, and the families of those involved.”
A trial date for the final defendant has not yet been set, according to the release.