Sayreville Football Players to Head to Family Court
Last month, seven students from Sayreville High School were arrested for sexual assault after allegations of hazing surfaced. Due to the severity of the charges, there was a question of whether the football players would be tried as adults. However, earlier this week the Middlesex County prosecutor had announced that the teens’ case will be heard in family court instead of criminal court.
What does this mean? Well most importantly, this means the teens will not be tried as adults. It also means that if they are found guilty, the punishment will be less severe than it would have been if the case was to be heard in criminal court. If the teens had gone to criminal court and were found guilty of sexual assault, the punishment would be 10 to 20 years in prison. But since the case will now be heard in family court, the maximum sentence the teens will face is four years in a juvenile facility. In addition, the case will be heard by a judge only – there are no jury cases in family court.
But the teens still have Megan’s Law to contend with. According to the New Jersey law, a teen who is at least 15 years of age will have to register as a sex offender, no matter if they are tried as an adult or a juvenile. And like all other sex offenders, they can have their names removed from the registry by petitioning the court 15 years after the offense, provided they do not commit another sexual crime.