Prosecutor: Juveniles Charged in High School Hazing, Criminal Sexual Contact, Sex Assault Incidents

Complaints against juveniles in connection with sexual assault and hazing incidents have been filed against a number of Wall Township High School students as the result of two separate investigations conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Monday.    

Juvenile complaints charging the students with hazing, attempted criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, false imprisonment, and harassment were filed following an investigation into a series of incidents that allegedly occurred during September and October 2021 in the Wall Township High School football team’s locker room.

Following a separate investigation, unrelated to the hazing investigation, juvenile complaints charging aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault were also filed against one juvenile in connection with alleged conduct that occurred outside of school.

These investigations have been conducted in consultation with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG), and in strict adherence to OAG Directive No. 2020-12, Establishing Policies, Practices, and Procedures to Promote Juvenile Justice Reform, issued in December 2020.

Specifically, as it relates to the hazing investigation, Acting Prosecutor Linskey stressed that “it is imperative that 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. We are hopeful that the lessons gleaned from this case foster a renewed focus on actively teaching juveniles in all of our schools what conduct crosses the line of acceptability, and what students must do if they are a bystander or victim of hazing, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”

While no information is usually released in connection with most juvenile cases, the Prosecutor’s Office is released the above information in response to intense public scrutiny regarding these matters and a high degree of misinformation circulating with regard to them. The intent was also, more importantly, “to educate and inform the community regarding the seriousness of such conduct,” a released statement said.

No additional information on this matter is being released at this time, and the specific number of juvenile defendants involved is not being disclosed, as the Prosecutor’s Office is seeking to remain in adherence to the confidentiality tenets outlined by the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice. Under state law, the identities of all such juveniles involved are kept strictly confidential, and likewise, Family Court proceedings involving juveniles are closed to the public.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management