6 New Jersey High School Football Players Get Probation in Hazing Case
Administrators faced outrage locally for canceling the season after the allegations
Six students at Sayreville War Memorial High School in New Jersey have been placed on probation after they admitted to digitally penetrating younger players on the school’s football team in a hazing scandal that rocked the tight-knit community.
Last year, seven students were charged with sex crimes after investigators found that they had attacked four other students, holding the teens against their will and improperly touching them in a sexual manner.
According to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, four of the seven pleaded guilty to charges of committing a disorderly persons offense of hazing and endangering the welfare of their younger teammates. They were sentenced to probation for two years.
Two others were placed on one-year probationary terms after they were found guilty of charges including simple assault and lying to the police. Lawyers for those two players had previously stated that their clients had been cleared.
The final player is still awaiting a trial.
“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,” said prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.
“The community of Sayreville needs to know that these serious crimes occurred, and now must work together to heal,” Carey added.
Many locals were furious last year after the football season was canceled in the wake of the horrific allegations. “Football runs this school,” student William Simmons told Sports Illustrated at the time. “That’s all everyone cares about.”
Added then-freshman Yasmine Gomez: “Things have been blown out of proportion. We know the players, and hazing, to them, they didn’t mean it in that way. It was more like being friends.”
In addition to probation, the six players have each been ordered to serve 50 hours of community service. As part of their plea deal, the prosecutors did not make them register as sex offenders.
Sayreville War Memorial High School has resumed its football program this year.
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