Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced in a news release that six of seven juveniles were taken into custody for alleged attacks upon four victims in four separate incidents at Sayreville War Memorial High School. The hazing scandal has made national news. The charges were expected as numerous victims were interviewed over the last few days. One additional juvenile was being sought at the time of the release. All of those taken into custody ranged from 15 to 17 years old.
Charges for three of the defendants included 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 defendants, as well as the remaining four juveniles, 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.
According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor, the defendants are charged with holding victims against their will while other defendants improperly touched the victims in a sexual manner on various dates between Sept. 19 and Sept. 29. A victim was also kicked in one instance, according to the charges.
The primary concern for all of the defendants will be whether or not the cases are waived up to adult court. At juvenile court, the punishments are nothing compared to the 10 to 20 years in prison that at least three are facing for aggravated sexual assault. The defense for the other four will be to flip on the other three as soon as possible to avoid greater punishment and to keep the charges at juvenile court. There are numerous other defenses for all of the defendants but they will largely depend on who they hire for defense lawyers, how quickly they hire the lawyers and the skill level of each lawyer. The faster the lawyers can jump on the case, the easier it will be to avoid lengthy prison sentences, especially for the first three who have the most exposure.