(SAYREVILLE, N.J.) — A New Jersey high school football program could be in jeopardy after seven players were charged in connection with a hazing investigation.
Sayreville War Memorial High School canceled its season last week as details emerged from a Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office investigation. District Superintendent Richard Labbe says the program could remain dormant for longer than just this season.
“I will be making that very, very difficult, but very, very important decision as to whether to have a football program at Sayreville,” Labbe told ABC News.
Labbe said he is awaiting further information from the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.
Seven Sayreville students — ranging in age from 15 to 17 — are scheduled to appear in court this week, facing sex-crime charges stemming from the alleged hazing. The students face various charges, from aggravated sexual assault to conspiracy and criminal restraint. They’re charged after four victims were allegedly held against their will in four separate incidents, while the defendants improperly touched them in a sexual manner.
It hasn’t been determined whether the students, whom authorities have not named publicly, will be tried as adults or juveniles.
If the players are found guilty, they would have to go on the sex offender list for 15 years. If they are tried as juveniles, they could face less than a year in jail. But if they are tried as adults, the students facing the most serious charges could spend more than 30 years behind bars.
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