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CBS 2 Exclusive: Middlesex Prosecutor Weighs Whether To Bump Up Sayreville Charges To Adult Court

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The Sayreville High School football scandal has led to numerous players being charged with sexual assault, and sources briefed on school matters have told CBS 2 that several coaches have also been suspended with pay.

CBS 2's Christine Sloan spoke exclusively Monday night with the prosecutor in charge of the case, which has gained national attention.

"The pressure – it's there; it's significant," said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

Carey's office has charged seven Sayreville varsity football players with sexually assaulting four younger teammates during several hazing rituals in the locker room.

Carey was not at liberty to talk about the case itself, because everyone involved is a juvenile. But he told CBS 2 how he determines if a case should be bumped up to adult court.

"We look at the seriousness of the crime. We look at the history of the juvenile involved -- as in the defendant. Is this a first-time arrest? Has anything like this happened before?" Carey said "We also take very seriously the wishes of a victim in a case like this."

Carey, who was appointed to his post a year ago by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, has strong beliefs when it comes to juveniles and crime.

"If you put somebody in jail for a significant amount of time, they're not going to come out a better person," Carey said. "There's a chance we can help everybody involved and help Sayreville to heal and to move on from this."

Sayreville has been a town divided since the football season was canceled, and the student suspects were charged with sexually violating the younger players.

Sources said the coaches who were suspended in connection with the scandal almost never spent time in the locker room. But some lawmakers said they should be held responsible.

And on social media, some have called the victims snitches for coming forward.

"Whenever there is a juvenile case and the media is involved, it adds to the peer pressure put on the kids," Carey said.

Carey has 30 days from the time the charges were filed to make the decision whether to move the case from juvenile to adult court.

Attorneys representing the victims have also been barred from divulging any details on the case.

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