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Six juveniles were taken into custody by police and charged late Friday for allegedly participating in a series of disturbing hazing rituals at a New Jersey high school that prosecutors call sexual assault. A seventh who allegedly played a role in the incidents at Sayreville War Memorial High School was charged, but not immediately taken into custody. He was being sought by police, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, which has been investigating the unsettling allegations against the suspects, ages 15 to 17.
Three of the students were charged with aggravated sexual assault and other charges — including sexual contact, conspiracy, restraint and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration on one of the juvenile victims, prosecutors said. The four other teens were charged with aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy, sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack of the remaining victims. Police did not identify the seven charged due to their ages. Officials did not say whether the seven are members of the school's football team, but prosecutors said the four alleged incidents took place on school grounds.
The school had already canceled the rest of its football season amid allegations of a hazing ritual involving digital penetration. “A freshman football player would be pinned to the locker room floor, his arms and feet held down by multiple upperclassmen. Then, the victim would be lifted to his feet while a finger was forced into his rectum,” according to an account published by NJ Advance Media. In one instance, one of the victims was kicked during an attack, prosecutors said. The alleged incidents occurred between Sept. 19 and Sept. 29, prosecutors said. It was not clear how many victims there were.