At least “some” of the seven Sayreville football players who stand charged with assault in connection with disturbing hazing allegations made a court appearance Tuesday, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey told assembled media.
Carey briefly spoke to reporters as he left the Family Court building in Sayreville, and refused to comment on whether he would seek to send the teenagers on to adult court. That decision is critical to the student athletes’ future, as such a decision would put them in line for far more strict penalties than they would be likely to receive if tried as juveniles.
New Jersey Advance Media reported that Carey entered the Family Court building at 1:30 and left having spent less than 45 minutes inside.
Because of privacy rules, nothing is known about which players may have made an appearance Tuesday, or whether those appearances were directly related to the different charges facing different students. As previously reported, three of the seven football players were charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, and hazing in relation to claims that they engaged in the sexual penetration of juvenile victims.
Five students, including one who was also handed the charges enumerated above, were served with a hodge podge of charges including aggravated assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, riot, hazing and conspiracy for their role in the attacks on their freshmen Sayreville teammates.
All seven student athletes have been suspended from school until the criminal investigation facing them is complete.
As the story has evolved, it has become increasingly clear that the hazing allegations against the program were far more than garden variety towel snapping, leading to the initially controversial decision to cancel Sayreville’s football season. Now Sayreville superintendent Richard Labbe has told the media, including MyCentralJersey.com’s Greg Trufaro, that the program could be cancelled for more than a single season.
Regardless of when or if Sayreville is allowed to return to competition, it’s now clear that the seven players who stand charged with these brutal acts of hazing won’t play high school football again.