A New Jersey high school embroiled in a hazing case that has led to sexual abuse charges has suspended five football coaches, local media reported on Sunday.
Seven football players aged 15 to 17 at Sayreville War Memorial High School face charges of sexual abuse of four freshmen on the team, according to prosecutors in Middlesex County, New Jersey.
The head coach and four assistant coaches, all of whom are teachers at the high school as well, have been suspended from their coaching and teaching positions, according to NJ Advance Media.
They are suspended with pay and have not been charged in the hazing allegations, according to NJ Advance Media, citing sources.
The school district superintendent and the school board president could not be reached to confirm or comment on the report.
Earlier, the superintendent canceled the remainder of this year’s high school football season and has said he was considering suspending the program in future years as well.
The school, which has about 1,700 students, is considered a football powerhouse.
Three Sayreville players were charged earlier this month with aggravated sexual assault, and four were charged with aggravated assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact and other crimes.
Prosecutors say the victims were held against their will while other juveniles touched them.
NJ Advance Media, citing interviews with victims, has reported that the freshman players were held down while other players inserted fingers into their rectums and then their mouths.
(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Frank McGurty)