US: High school football players charged with sexual assault over ‘hazing’ ritual
Seven members of a high school football team have been charged with sex crimes – for involvement in a ‘hazing’ ritual which allegedly saw men penetrated against their will.
The seven students, aged between 15 and 17, were charged after the disturbing practice came to light in the American football team at New Jersey’s Sayreville War Memorial High School.
The team would allegedly pin freshman students to the locker room floor, before inserting fingers into their anus.
One parent told the Star-Ledger: “[For] 10 seconds, the lights would go off and they would grab a freshman and they would go on.
“Right on the floor. It was happening every day. They would get the freshmen. Kids would just sit around and witness [stuff] like this.”
The seven boys have been arrested and charged with “aggravated sexual assault, criminal restraint, hazing and other crimes for an act of sexual penetration”.
Superintendent Dr Richard Labbe said: “We will come together as a school district and greater community to harness the strength required to support the young men who may have been victimized and then to begin the healing process for our beloved community.”
The school’s football season has been entirely cancelled due to the incident.