Seven New Jersey teenagers were charged Friday in connection with sexual assaults that were allegedly part of a football hazing ritual which prompted the local school to cut the season short.
Some of the seven teens at Parlin, New Jersey’s Sayreville War Memorial High School are accused of holding victims agains their will while others “improperly” touched them “in a sexual manner,” prosecutors said. The accused range in age from 15 to 17, the New York Times reports.
The charges include aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, assault, conspiracy and hazing, among others.
Sayreville was scheduled to play its homecoming football game on Friday night against Monroe High School, but school officials canceled the game after complaints about bullying. Richard Labbe, the superintendent of Sayreville Public Schools said the board of education, said the school would continue to cooperate with authorities.
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday said as a father of four, he found the allegations disgraceful.
“The facts as reported currently are extraordinarily disturbing and, as the father of a number of teenage athletes, the idea that that kind of conduct could be permitted — if it’s true — in a high school athletics program, or anywhere else in our state for that matter, is absolutely unacceptable,” Christie said.