Police in Pittsgrove Township have charged four Arthur P. Schalick High School wrestlers with aggravated assault and related charges in connection with an alleged locker room shower hazing incident. The four juvenile students have been accused of stripping a victim in the shower area of the locker room, restraining the victim, and threatening to sexually assault the victim with a broomstick.
The students, who have not been named because they are minors, have been charges with aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, criminal restraint, conspiracy to commit criminal restraint, hazing, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, conspiracy to possess a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, and conspiracy to unlawfully possess a weapon.
The alleged incident occurred on Saturday, December 8. The prosecutor’s office and the New Jersey State Police are working together on this investigation, which is still in its early stages.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now helps survivors of sexual assault find justice in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked Brian for some insight into the legal options available to victims of locker room hazing incidents:
Hazing has been an issue plaguing high school and college athletics for decades. While some hazing may be relatively harmless, such as making new teammates clean up after practice, it’s somewhat common for hazing to cross the line and turn into an assault. The victims of hazing sexual assault incidents deserve justice and the perpetrators deserve to be held accountable for the crimes they’ve committed.
In some cases, hazing sexual assault at school, third parties may also be considered liable if their negligence allowed the assault to occur. For example, a school might be considered liable if coaches or other staff were aware of the sexual assault but did not contact law enforcement. In those cases which involve negligence, the victim may have grounds for a lawsuit against the school.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted in a high school or college hazing incident, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual assault victims attorney.