SAYREVILLE - Prosecutors and police say seven juveniles have been charged in connection with hazing incidents at Sayreville War Memorial High School.
The defendants range in age from 15 to 17 years old. The Middlesex County prosecutor says six of the seven juveniles were taken into custody Friday night, and the seventh teen turned himself in Saturday.
The teens are facing charges that include aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack.
According to the prosecutor, there were attacks on four victims in four separate incidents that took place on school grounds between Sept. 19 and Sept. 29.
The prosecutor says the defendants held the victims against their will while they were improperly touched in a sexual manner. Prosecutors say another victim was also kicked during an attack.
Because the players being charged are juveniles, their names have not been released and proceedings will occur in family court.
News 12 spoke to one parent who didn't want to be named, who said her freshman son was on the team, and although he was not a victim, had heard of the alleged incidents involving his friends.
"From what he tells me supposedly they had a list of kids they were going through
throughout the season," the mother said. "It was kids with potential of raising up to JV or varsity."
A hearing date for the defendants has not yet been determined.
Last week, the school canceled its football games for the remainder of the season.
The Sayreville School District superintendent released a statement terming the alleged acts "horrendous" and saying that the school board takes the matter "extremely seriously." The district has launched an investigation into all athletic and etracurricular programs to ensure protection of all students, the statement says.
The mayor of Sayreville has teamed up with religious leaders in the area to form a "coalition of community leadership." The goal to is focus on healing by offering counseling and other resources to the community. The group plans to attend a community event Saturday at Kennedy Park at 6 p.m.