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The Penalties Faced By A Professional That Condones Hazing


Interviewer: If there’s a professional that has some sort of knowledge about this or is alleged that they had some sort of information about this, what sort of penalties would they face?

James Abate: The penalties that are necessary to deal with this are in-place. First is, involved in a first degree charge of hazing or aggravated hazing or sexual assault are enough to deal with the situation if it was the school administration and the prosecutor making sure that things come into the light of day which really is the issue that judges whether these people are going to be dealt with appropriately or not.  In this case, these people came forward, they were listened to by the police who brought them in. One thing is that if you take a look at the statute, it does in fact cope with both sexual assault and aggravated hazing.

There is a Different Standard of Prosecution when Dealing With Teachers

Both have a rising scale of how bad what you did is and they both incorporate whether the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status.  It already incorporates that you’re dealing with people in position of power and it goes the same with the way you treat statutory rape in New Jersey.  In New Jersey, someone is of the age of consent at 16 years old. Many people hear that and they’re like wow, but there’s a different standard when it comes to a teacher and that’s why you see these teachers. I don’t want to say a lot because it makes it sound like all the teachers are out doing the wrong thing when I know most teachers are doing their job and care deeply about the students.

Children Who’ve Seen the Sayreville Incident Might be Reluctant to Join or Continue Football Programs

But you see too often and more in the media stories about teachers who are entering sexual relationships with their students regardless of the age of consent. There are sections in the sexual assault laws which forbid someone of certain age from having sexual relationship with someone who is in a position of authority over them.  So, the protections are there, it’s whether the protections are used is the question. Something like this is going to make other kids on the programs that saw this reluctant to do it anymore.

Useful Advice For People That May Potentially be Involved in Similar Situations

Interviewer: What advice would you give at this point to any readers that are reading this?

James Abate: If you have been accused of any crime and it just doesn’t go to the cerebral situation, you should consult with the legal counsel who has experience dealing with prosecutions like this and you should not speak to the police without an attorney present. If the police have enough information to charge you, they will but if they don’t they want to talk to you. If you have been involved with something, start preparing to come up with money for bail, begin speaking to your bail bondsman so that you’re not in jail the entire time that this case is going on.

Seeking the Services of a Competent Attorney Should be the First Initiative

If you are someone who has been harmed in one of these situations or any situation, you should also start speaking to an attorney to find out how to protect your rights and make sure that you’re getting the best treatment as well as to make sure that protection’s being reinforced.  That’s one of the things when we do a lot of domestic violence and sex crimes work in our office and one of the things that sets us apart from others and anyone who does this kind of work is that we do know the professionals who can help with counseling of these abused children they’ll need for years.  Those would be the best piece of advice I could give.

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