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Juveniles face criminal hazing, sex charges in Wall amid football hazing scandal

A number of juveniles are facing criminal hazing and sex charges resulting from the investigation which led to the cancellation of the Wall High School varsity football team's remaining season.

News 12 Staff

Jan 11, 2022, 12:45 PM

Updated 890 days ago

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A number of juveniles are facing criminal hazing and sex charges resulting from the investigation which led to the cancellation of the Wall High School varsity football team's remaining season. 
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office released a detailed account of the charges they filed against an unknown number of students. They are making the information public because of what they call intense scrutiny surrounding the case and a high level of misinformation circulating the community.  
A number of juveniles have been charged with hazing, criminal sexual conduct, false imprisonment, and harassment. Another person is facing separate sex assault charges for an unrelated off campus incident, according to prosecutors.  
The charges come from incidents in September and October inside the football team's locker room. 
At least four videos were taken of the incidents -- one described by a parent to News 12 appeared to show sexual assault of an underclassman while others watched.  
As a result of the internal investigation, the school suspended seven players. Three coaches and the athletic director were placed on leave. Six of the suspended students are scheduled to return to school later this month. The adults remain on paid administrative leave. 
Back in November at a school board meeting, past and current students described what they called a pattern of covering up abuse.
After learning about the charges, the uncle of one of the students seen in a video told News 12, “I absolutely commend the prosecutor’s office for taking the actions they have against the accused individuals. These actions are the first real steps toward justice. Will it heal the wounds encountered by the victims? They may heal but I'm afraid the scars may last forever."
Christopher Adams, an attorney representing one of the accused juveniles, lashed out at prosecutors for releasing details about the charges, writing, “The @MonCoProsecutor's office release of facts related to juvenile charges is unprecedented and grossly irresponsible. If the @NewJerseyOAG was consulted and approved releasing the details about juvenile charges to the media, then he’s proven that he doesn’t support the administration's juvenile justice reforms and is not qualified for the full-time position."
Adams also says, “There is absolutely nothing sexual about anything that happened in the videos or in the locker room and we look forward to proving that. This was wrestling and sophomoric behavior by 15-, 16- and 17-year-old boys before football practice in front of the coaches. If there was anything sexual, the coaches would have stopped it, but they didn’t because it was nothing more than horseplay. Adding a baseless sex charge is not only unsupported by the facts, but nothing more than playing politics and pandering to the media.”
News 12 spoke with the Board of Education president Monday, saying the superintendent had no prior knowledge of the result of the criminal investigation and learned about the charges from our reporting. 
He and the superintendent could not comment further on the matter because it involves juveniles.  


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