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The Impact Of Media Coverage Regarding The Sayreville High School Hazing Case


Interviewer: Do you foresee a lot more media coverage happening with this or do you think it’s going to die down and that’ll allow the case to become a lot more feasible to work with?

James Abate: It’s going to quiet down quite a bit. There’ll be periods when it permeates through the media again, when next season comes along. If they cancel another season, then that may quell things a bit.  If this makes it to the grand jury, that will bring this to the surface again, if indictments are handed out, that will make this a matter in the news again. Once there are convictions or pleas to go through, that will also bring it to the surface and again, that may be for a couple of reasons.

People May Form an Opinion Regarding the Outcome of the Case as It Progresses

People may feel that the boys were dealt with too harshly or too leniently, when they decide what to do with the coaches from the team; that may also bring it back into the media spotlight. You may see the head coach being fired and that will bring it back into the spotlight. There are a number of things which could bring this back into public consciousness but generally speaking; it’s not going to be the viral issue that it was at least around the northeast anymore.

A Child Can Potentially Face Charges of Hazing and Sexual Assault if they’re Alleged to be a Perpetrator

Interviewer: So, if I was a parent and one of my children was alleged to have committed some of these acts with other students; what sort of charges and penalties could my child be facing?

James Abate: They’re going to be facing probably aggravated hazing and they’re going to be facing sexual assault charges.  Those are the two which are most likely to be there.

In New Jersey, Juvenile Offenses Do Not End Up On a Person’s Permanent Record

Interviewer: If that was the case, is my child’s going to be facing jail time? Can I get this removed from the record?

James Abate: That certainly is something which is possible because they’re being dealt with as juveniles. Things that happen on a juvenile record do not end up on your record. They will not be considered a criminal violation that’s going to show up on a background. They are showing a great deal of leniency to the students and that is what it is.

Parents of the Victimized Children Are Eligible to Sue the School for Civil Liabilities

Interviewer: Let’s say I’m a parent of a child who’s been allegedly abused in this situation and I’m very upset about this because this was allowed to happen, how’s that going to differ from the other perspective?

James Abate: There’s a huge civil liability that is going to be upon the school and the coaches who were employees of the school. There are going to be multimillion dollars settlements coming out of this.

The Students Harbor a Portion of the Blame for the Sayreville High School Hazing Case

Interviewer: Could the students actually be blamed for something that’s been arguably forced on to them?

James Abate: Yes, absolutely. The bigger question right now is where did this idea that this was acceptable come from?  Probably we’re going to find out that this is going to be happening at Sayreville High School for decades or years. It would seem odd to me if it’s just happened all of a sudden and that no students knew anything about this and that the administration didn’t know anything about this. We’re going to have to find out from the investigation, unlike most of the situations, this is something which is still developing. So we’re going to find out as time goes on.

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