Six New Jersey high school football players accused of sexually assaulting and hazing their freshman teammates were sentenced Monday to probation and community service.
Seven players at Sayreville War Memorial High School were initially accused of having some involvement in hazing and sexually assaulting four younger teammates in the locker room, with victims claiming they had been anally violated.
A New Brunswick Family Court judge handed down the sentences after four of the students pleaded guilty to charges of hazing and child endangerment. Those students were sentenced to two years of probation.
The two other teens were were found guilty of committing a delinquent act and sentenced to one year of probation, the office of Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News.
In addition to being put on probation, all six teenagers were ordered to serve 50 hours of community service, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor's office. However, they will not have to register as sex offenders.
At least two of the teens had faced charges of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault, but they were later dropped. Prosecutors also decided to try the boys, who have not been identified but are all under the age of 18, as juveniles.
The seventh defendant accused in the case is still awaiting trial.
"The community of Sayreville needs to know that these serious crimes occurred, and now must work together to heal," Carey said.
The football season at Sayreville War Memorial High School was suspended in 2014 as information about the hazing scandal came to light. The football program was reinstated in January.
The program's head coach, George Najjar, was reassigned to an elementary school and the athletics director, John Kohutanycz, resigned.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at email@example.com.
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