Seven high school football players in Sayreville, New Jersey, have been charged with sexual assault after details emerged of a series of violent hazing incidents in the locker room. Police have detained six of the accused players.
Just days after Sayreville High School canceled its football season in the wake of bullying allegations, police came to the homes of the accused players to take them into custody. The boys face charges related to harassing and assaulting younger members on the team. They are all between 15 to 17 years old.
A parent of one of the victims told NJ.com that seniors on the Sayreville team routinely harass freshmen, and that these bouts of hazing sometimes allegedly included anal penetration, a form of sexual assault. So far, the coach of the football team has not been charged with any crime.
According to prosecutors, the assaults took place on four different days in late September. If convicted of aggravated sexual assault, the football players could spend up to five years in jail -- even though they're under 18.
“For something like this to happen is shocking," said Wendy Rondeau, a local resident of Sayreville. "But we will get through this."