ACLU-NJ on prosecution of Sayreville football players as juveniles

November 10, 2014

Prosecutor is right to keep Sayreville football players in juvenile system rather than try them in adult court

ACLU of New Jersey Senior Staff Attorney Alexander Shalom made the following statement about reports that seven Sayreville football players charged with sexual assault will be tried as juveniles:

Alexander Shalom

"The decision to prosecute the seven Sayreville High School football players as juveniles is the correct one, and we commend the Middlesex County prosecutor for making the right choice in a sexual assault case that has shocked the public conscience and roiled the community.

"The decision does not diminish the seriousness of the crimes alleged in the Sayreville case. Sexual assaults -- indeed, rapes -- such as those reported in the press should not be condoned as horseplay or trivialized under the term hazing. But asking that kids be treated like kids -- that children get access to rehabilitative services that will reduce their likelihood of recidivism -- is not the same as suggesting that they evade punishment. It is, however, recognizing that finding justice is not as simple as seeking retribution."

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