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Family ‘appalled’ by attorney who downplayed NJ locker room hazing

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The family of a hazing victim at Wall High School is outraged by the characterization of the incident as a simple horse game in which a teammate was innocently pricked in the stomach by a broomstick.

“Getting shot in the stomach and stomach? He firmly believed he was about to be sodomized and was scared to death. Mental scars that he will have to carry for the rest of his life,” said a family spokesperson about the victim’s experience. day after a lawyer publicly defended the accused students.

On Monday, Acting Monmouth County District Attorney Lori Linskey announced minor complaints against an unknown number of students. The complaints accuse the students of hazing, attempted criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, false imprisonment and harassment. They were not charged with the more serious crime of sexual assault.

Chris Adams, the attorney for one of the suspects, told New Jersey 101.5 that nothing that happened in the locker room was sexual. He called the case “political and procuring” by prosecutors.

NJ.com reported Friday that a month before the charges were announced, the district had offered to pay tuition for some of the defendants if they agreed to leave the district. As many as four students rejected the offer, New Jersey 101.5 has learned.

The district suspended the players involved in the case, but the fact that such an unorthodox offer was made instead of expulsion indicates that district officials did not appear to believe that what happened reached the crime level. If so, Monmouth County prosecutors ultimately disagreed.

The family of one of the victims claim the truth is that the teenager who found himself at the mercy of his teammates was absolutely terrified he was about to be sodomized by a stick broom just before a trainer whistles and interrupts the hazing. .

Wall High School football field banner

Wall High School football field banner (Richard O’Donnell Photography)

“He was absolutely petrified to be about to be sexually assaulted”

“I am absolutely appalled that Chris Adams is downplaying this incident by saying ‘the boys are walking around in full view of adults,'” the family’s spokesperson said. “The coach whistled three times as he entered the locker room. It was only then that they stopped the broom assault.”

New Jersey 101.5 does not identify the family member in order to protect the privacy of a minor and a victim of a reported crime.

The prosecutor’s office did not provide details of what happened in the locker room because the law and court rules prevent them from revealing most details in cases involving underage suspects.

It was widely reported that the content of the videos of the reported hazing involved a broomstick. New Jersey 101.5 has not viewed the video.

Adams insisted that reports of the incident made it sound like it was “a story from the Sayreville football team or Abner Louima that someone had been sodomized with a broomstick. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“It was just teenagers poking and trying to touch someone. I think he got it in the stomach. He pushed it in the stomach,” he told New Jersey 101.5.

But the victim’s family said the student was ‘absolutely petrified’ that he was about to be sexually assaulted.

The coaches were not in the locker room when the assault took place and one of them whistled three times as he entered the locker room.

“He was undressed, aggressively restrained by his teammates and about to be given a broomstick. He was petrified!” said the family spokesperson.

The spokesperson said there were six attackers in the locker room but did not know how many students were attacked. He said the family first learned of the attack when they were asked to come to police headquarters and shown the video.

wall high school

Wall High School (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

try to move on

The student attempted to override the attack, the family spokesperson said.

“He’s a tough, calm kid. He keeps trying to stay focused on school,” he said.

The family thinks the school needs to have a strict hazing policy in place.

“One strike and you’re out. If it happens once, they shouldn’t just face criminal charges, but they shouldn’t be able to play school sports and should be suspended for an extended period” , said the spokesperson. .

Wall Township High School Football Field

Wall Township High School Football Field (Wall School District)

Adams stands by his comments

Adams said he sympathized with any child who may have suffered, but reiterated that the victim of the assault was fully clothed.

“Any suggestion that an incident where a boy stripped naked is 100% false. It didn’t happen,” Adams told New Jersey 101.5. “There is no truth to any suggestion that someone was stripped naked or that it was in any way sexual.”

He said multiple witnesses said the assault took place in front of adults, while most videos showed him outside the coach’s desk in the locker room.

Adams also fired back at those who questioned his account.

“Family members and attorneys who want to sue the school should stop trying to sensationalize for their own gain and come clean about what happened with these kids,” Adams said.

Contact journalist Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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