SAYREVILLE — Two of the seven former Sayreville High School football players charged in a hazing scandal that made national news last fall have been found not guilty.
The Sayreville football program made national headlines after authorities charged seven players in hazing incidents involving freshman players.
Three of those players were charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration upon one of the juvenile victims.
One of those players and the four remaining players were charged with various counts, including aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack of the remaining victims.
Because the players were juveniles, their names were not released and their case was heard behind closed doors in Family Court.
Richard Klein, the attorney representing one of the two players cleared of the more serious charges against him, said the teen and his family are “elated that this matter is over and that there can be normalcy back in their lives.”
The other student who was tried and found not guilty was represented by Kevin Flood. One juvenile, represented by attorney Steven Altman, is awaiting trial, Altman said Monday. It was not clear Monday where the other cases stand.
Klein said his client — who was a star player on the school’s storied football team, a student government leader and an “academic achiever” — never should have been charged.
“It disrupted his life and his family’s lives,” Klein said, adding that he would be attending college in the fall.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey released a statement Monday saying court rules “greatly restrict” what authorities can say in a juvenile matter and would only do so “at the appropriate time.”
Carey also slammed Klein for speaking out, saying his office is greatly disappointed with the inappropriate and misleading comments by Mr. Klein.
Klein, who submitted paperwork this year putting the district on notice that his client reserved the right to sue, did not say if the family intended to file the lawsuit.
The story in the fall brought national news cameras and magazine writers to the borough. Head football coach George Najjar was sacked from the team, suspended as teacher, then reassigned to teach gym at an elementary school.
The courts barred a request by MyCentralJersey.com and other media outlets to cover the Family Court proceedings.
Staff Writer Sergio Bichao: 908-243-6615; email@example.com