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The Potential Clientele Requiring Legal Counsel In A High School Hazing Incident


Interviewer: As an attorney, what sort of clients do you foresee that you’ll be representing in case like this?

James Abate: I could end up representing administrators. This is not the end of the game; they may be looking to do after the school, coaches and teachers who they feel knew something or should have known something about this and didn’t do anything to stop it. If they didn’t do something to stop it that they should have known that any kind of responsible supervision of the student program wouldn’t have let something like this happen  You could see some of the adults in the situation will be charged with more serious penalties in the criminal court system.  At that point, you’ll have parents of these children who were abused asking the same questions that have been asked in the past.

The School and It’s Staff Should be Held Accountable for the Contributory Negligent Attitude

Some of those questions will be who dropped the ball to allow this to happen; whether they can sue the children who perpetrated the abuse. They could but as an attorney will tell you, it’s always that you’re looking for the party who can pay the settlement. It may be that the children who committed these horrible acts are mostly at-fault but that there is enough contributory negligence on the part of the school and its employees. That school will then end up having to pay for the damages that will be decided in a simple settlement or civil lawsuit.

The Commonly Known Facts Regarding the Sayreville High School Hazing Case

Interviewer: What do we know about everything?  What is the information that everybody has access to or that the public knows?

James Abate: The public information is that there were complaints by boys and by parents that the younger boys were frightened to go into the locker room. They would have to run, they were crying after practice, run to the locker room before the older boys got there. They would change in the hallway because they didn’t want to be caught by the older boys in the locker room. That’s how it started out, there were stories about that and then it was revealed to the school administration why this was happening. In fact, the younger boys, the freshmen boys would go into the locker room, lights would be turned off and they would be restrained and there would be some act of sexual assault committed of digital penetration.

There are Clues that the Sayreville Football Program Had Rogue Elements in it

I hate to even talk about it because if that was my son on either end of it, I don’t know where these children got the idea that this is acceptable but that is what we know right now.  We don’t know how long it’s been going on for, we don’t know who started this tradition and we don’t know what the motivation of this tradition was. There was another coach, an assistant coach who stepped down right at the about the same time that the season was cancelled because he had been found in possession of a large amount of steroids. This happened in Bridgewater New Jersey on a routine traffic stop. I don’t know what else happened but certainly it sounds like it was a program that had rogue elements in it or upon the coaching staff on what was happening in the locker room.

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