NJ high school sex assault suspects will reportedly be tried as juveniles

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Sayreville War Memorial High - updated 10/12/14
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NJ high school sex assault suspects will reportedly be tried as juveniles
People hold candles as they gather for an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town has been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
People hold candles as they gather for an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town has been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A person holds a candle as they join others at an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J.The central New Jersey town has been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A person wears a ribbon and a Sayreville shirt as hundreds of people gathered for an anti-bullying rally unday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town that's been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
People hold candles as they gather for an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town has been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Students hold candles and balloons as they join hundreds of people gathering in the setting sun, for an anti-bullying rally unday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J.The central New Jersey town thas been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Hundreds of people gather in the setting sun, for an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town that's been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A woman wears a Sayreville Bombers football team jacket as hundreds of people gathered for an anti-bullying rally unday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town that's been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Organizer Maureen Jenkins, bottom second left, reads for a statement as hundreds of people gather for an anti-bullying rally Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. The central New Jersey town that's been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Hundreds of people gather in the setting sun, for an anti-bullying rally unday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J.The central New Jersey town thas been rocked by allegations of hazing on its football team that prompted the cancellation of the rest of the season. Organizers say the goal of the event is to promote unity and healing within the community, as well as to show support for the victims of bullying. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Vigil held for victims of Sayreville High School football hazing. #1010WINS http://t.co/IvCQATeUFc
The real Sayreville. Photos from @JTowlen http://t.co/S5lLhK94vB http://t.co/p9FnKqDLKh
PHOTOS: Sayreville vigil marks beginning of healing process http://t.co/VmWvjRJv9W via @MyCentralJersey @MyCJ_Sports http://t.co/kXmpMad9oY
#sayrevillestrong 1000 people united for our town. This is Sayreville. http://t.co/7G26wtCzfJ
Residents gather at a local park for a vigil following the alleged hazing at Sayreville HS. #SayrevilleStrong http://t.co/yfXvhPwc0l
Sayreville residents gather for a vigil for the victims of the alleged assaults. #SayrevilleStrong http://t.co/PQXqcKDO9K
Hundreds in Sayreville NJ turn out for rally in support of victims of a football hazing scandal @CBSNewYork http://t.co/17FLeAS9Da
Seven charged in Sayreville High School hazing case http://t.co/AlREAWZf3L http://t.co/7fZ2Jo22iH
A roadside sign displays the Sayreville War Memorial High School football team schedule on Main Street in Sayreville, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Seven students were charged with sex crimes in connection with a series of assaults amid an investigation into hazing by the high school football team, which already led to the cancellation of the rest of the season, authorities said. Six of the seven students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were arrested Friday night, and the seventh was being sought, police and prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Banners for state championships for the Sayreville War Memorial High School football team are lined up on a sign along Main Street in Sayreville, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Seven students were charged with sex crimes in connection with a series of assaults amid an investigation into hazing by the high school football team, which already led to the cancellation of the rest of the season, authorities said. Six of the seven students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were arrested Friday night, and the seventh was being sought, police and prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Raindrops fall on a puddle on a lot where a sign with the Sayreville War Memorial High School football team schedule is listed along Main Street in Sayreville, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Seven students were charged with sex crimes in connection with a series of assaults amid an investigation into hazing by the high school football team, which already led to the cancellation of the rest of the season, authorities said. Six of the seven students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were arrested Friday night, and the seventh was being sought, police and prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The entrance to Sayreville War Memorial High School is shown Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. Officials at a school, which has won three sectional titles over the past four years, canceled the football season amid allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying among players. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Sayreville War Memorial High School senior Kishan Patel, 17, stops to answer questions from the medai as he leaves school Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. A reported hazing incident that "went too far" and is at the center of the investigation into the high school football team that has resulted in the cancellation of the school's football season. Patel said when investigation is done, the cancellation of the school's football season will be seen as an overreaction. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Sayreville War Memorial High School senior Kishan Patel, 17, stops to answer questions from the medai as he leaves school Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. A reported hazing incident that "went too far" and is at the center of the investigation into the high school football team that has resulted in the cancellation of the school's football season. Patel said when investigation is done, the cancellation of the school's football season will be seen as an overreaction. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Sayreville War Memorial High School senior Kishan Patel, 17, walks past the entrance to the high school, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Sayreville, N.J. Officials at a school, which has won three sectional titles over the past four years, canceled the football season amid allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying among players. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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By RYAN GORMAN

The students accused in an October locker room sexual assault that led to the cancellation of a high school football season will reportedly be charged as minors.

Authorities have decided against charging the "Sayreville Seven" as adults, sources have told the New York Daily News. Previous reports suggested the case would be moved from juvenile court to adult court.

The students were arrested October 11 after a freshman football player told his parents he was sodomized in the locker room following practice, according to reports. Other students have made similar claims in the weeks since reports of the incident first emerged.

"It's huge news for the kids who were arrested," the source told the paper. "The charges are still serious, but trust me, juvenile court is where they want to be, not adult court."

The defendants are all students at Sayreville War Memorial High School, in New Jersey, and range in age from 15 to 17-years-old.

Keeping the case in juvenile court prevents their names from being made public even if they are found guilty. It also significantly lessens any punishment they might face.

Three of the suspects face aggravated sexual assault charges which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars if convicted. Juvenile courts carry much less severe penalties.

Juvenile courts normally focus on rehabilitation instead of the lengthy prison terms found in adult criminal courts.

News of the development came as the 30-day deadline for the prosecutor to submit a waiver to have the case moved from juvenile to adult court came, according to the Daily News.

The prosecutor is not expected to make that filing, the paper reported.

"I never really expected the prosecutor to pursue a waiver in this case, but it was so hyped from the outset you never know," said the source.

The prosecutor's office declined to comment publicly on the matter.

The shocking claims against the storied Sayreville football program, a perennial state powerhouse, led Superintendent of Sayreville schools Richard Labbe to cancel the remainder of the season.

The future of the football program hangs in limbo even as those accused in the hazing scandal likely will never be publicly named.

NJ High School Football Program May Be Facing Longer Suspension

Related links:
Another school football season ends over hazing
Ex-band FAMU member convicted in hazing death
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