Lawyer: 2 of 7 charged in Sayreville football hazing case are acquitted

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Monday, August 10, 2015

SAYREVILLE (WABC) -- Two of the seven Sayreville football players charged in connection with the hazing that caused the football season to be canceled last year were acquitted Friday after a 3 1/2-week trial in juvenile court, according to the attorney for one of the teens.

"They never should have charged him," lawyer Richard Klein told ABC News.

His client was acquitted of six counts including conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact; aggravated criminal sexual contact; hazing; aggravated assault; rioting; and criminal restraint.

Of the seven, some of the other cases have been resolved, while others are pending, a source told ABC.

The Sayreville War Memorial students were not charged as adults, and officials with the Middlesex County prosecutor's office did not seek a waiver to bring the case into adult court, which means all proceedings are closed to the public and press.

The accused are between 15 and 17 years old and have not been identified.

According to the complaint, on various dates between Sept. 19 and Sept. 29, one or more of the juvenile defendants either held the victims against their will, while other juvenile defendants improperly touched the juvenile victims in a sexual manner. It also is charged that in one instance, one of the juvenile victims was kicked during an attack.

Three of the defendants were charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration upon one of the juvenile victims.

The other four were charged with various counts including aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack of the remaining victims.

The Sayreville school board suspended coach George Najjar and four of his assistant coaches after the scandal made national headlines. Najjar was transferred as a physical education teacher at the high school to an elementary school. Chris Beagan, a 1990 graduate of the school, was chosen as the next coach.

No adults at the school were charged.