PARLIN, N.J. (TheBlaze/AP) — The last of seven high school students facing sex crime charges amid a hazing investigation that canceled a New Jersey prep football team's season has surrendered to authorities.
The youth surrendered early Saturday, Middlesex County prosecutors said; they declined to release further information due to the defendant's age.
In this Friday, Oct. 3, 2014 photograph, audience members react as members of the Sayreville Board of Education hold a news conference to address a hazing incident that "went too far" and is at the center of the investigation into the Sayreville War Memorial High School football team. On Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, school superintendent Richard Labbe said the Sayreville War Memorial High School football season has been canceled. (Image source: AP/Home News Tribune, Mark R. Sullivan)
The six other students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were arrested Friday night in connection with the assaults at regional football power Sayreville War Memorial High School.
The district canceled the remainder of football team's season after the school superintendent said there was evidence of pervasive harassment, intimidation and bullying.
The youths must appear before a Family Court judge, prosecutors said, but no hearing has been scheduled.
Prosecutors alleged that in four separate incidents older players turned off a dressing room light and sexually harassed four freshman players, penetrating at least one of them, CNN reported.
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Officials have not disclosed details, but a Sports Illustrated article indicated that it likely did not involve intercourse.
Three are accused of 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.
Four more players, plus one of the first three, face counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot for allegedly participating in the attack, Middlesex County prosecutors said.
Many parents and players are upset over the remainder of the season getting canceled. "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," one mother said at a school meeting, CNN noted, adding that emotional players made their feelings known as well.
But on the other side are the parents and players who made the hazing allegations; CNN reported that they declined to be interviewed on camera and fear voicing their grievances in such a forum.