Wall, NJ high school students charged in locker room hazing
WALL — After weeks of speculation and anger about a reported hazing incident in a Monmouth County high school locker room, prosecutors have filed juvenile criminal complaints against an unspecified number of students.
The complaints charge the students with hazing, attempted criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, false imprisonment, and harassment.
The charges follow an investigation into a series of incidents that occurred during September and October 2021 in the Wall Township High School football team’s locker room.
Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey on Monday did not identify the students specifically as football players.
Linskey said because juveniles are involved, the exact number of students charged will not be disclosed.
A second investigation unrelated to the hazing allegations charged one juvenile with aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault in connection to an incident that happen outside of school.
State law protects the identity of underage defendants and their cases are heard in Family Court, where the media and public do not have access.
“The results of our investigations necessitated the filing of juvenile complaints against those involved in order to serve the interests of justice,” Linskey said.
"The Prosecutor’s Office is releasing the above information today in response to intense public scrutiny regarding these matters and a high degree of misinformation circulating with regard to them, as well as in order to educate and inform the community regarding the seriousness of such conduct," Linskey said in a written statement released Monday.
She said it was important for victims of hazing, harassment, intimidation, and bullying know that such conduct is not a "rite of passage" and should not be endured without consequence in order to gain acceptance in social, club, sport, or academic settings.
Media reports about the incident indicated that the attacks were caught on video and may have involved a broomstick. The details have not been publicly confirmed by prosecutors.
As a result of the investigation, Wall canceled a playoff game along with its annual Thanksgiving game against Manasquan after a 10-1 season.