Two Sayreville defendants found not guilty in connection with hazing
Two of the teenagers allegedly involved in the Sayreville High School hazing scandal have been found not guilty on the most serious charges they faced in connection with the locker room incident, NJ.com reported Monday.
Richard P. Klein, an attorney for one of the defendants, told the website that his client was found not guilty "on the six initial charges leveled by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office," according to the NJ.com story. The teen was charged with aggravated sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual contact as well as aggravated assault. While he was not found guilty of the more serious offenses, Klein told NJ.com that the teen was found guilty of disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses during a hearing in Family Court. He refused to discuss the sentence his client faces.
According to a later NJ.com story, in response to Klein's comments to the media earlier Monday, the Middlesex County prosecutor's Office sent a statement to NJ Advance Media and other publications defending the way in which they handled the case.
"Given the professional handling of those matters from their inception, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is greatly disappointed with the inappropriate and misleading comments by (Richard) Klein," the prosecutor said in the statement released to NJ.com.
The alleged hazing and sexual assaults led to the cancellation of Sayreville War Memorial High School's 2014 football season.
The decision has made some wonder if the incident, which drew national headlines, was overblown. “It seemed like such a slam-dunk by everything you read and everything you heard that it’s shocking to hear that they were found not guilty [of the most serious charges],” former Sayreville head football coach Sal Mistretta told NJ.com. “Now you sit back and you say maybe it could have been overzealous a little bit.