Unfortunately, cheerleader sexual abuse isn’t an isolated case. It happens to many minors across multiple gyms and cheer associations across America, and institutions like the USASF usually turn a blind eye, making it more difficult to create and foster a safer environment in the field–this is why you should hire an experienced Strom Law attorney to help you find justice. Here are some prominent cases of cheerleader sexual abuse that have come to light:
Two teenage boys and one boy’s mother brought a lawsuit against Premier Athletics Knoxville West in Tennessee. According to the allegations, a coach in the said gym sent nude photos and masturbation videos to minors, as well as instigated non-consensual sexual acts.
Premier Athletics was said to have received reports of misconduct earlier, but the accused coach continued to have access to the gym until the case was filed. The USASF had already added the coach to its ineligible list, but he continued to give private lessons to minors at the gym. Furthermore, even when the coach was receiving notice of the allegations, he remained a Varsity representative.
This case shows that the USASF and leaders at Varsity Spirit continuously turn a blind eye to situations of cheerleader abuse in their affiliations.
A total of five lawsuits accuse former employees of Rockstar Cheer and Cance, a competitive cheerleading gym in Greenville County, South Carolina, of cheerleader sexual abuse and misconduct. Across the lawsuits, thirteen plaintiffs accuse Rockstar owner and founder Scott Foster, and other coaches, of a range of improper conduct, including rape, groping and inappropriate touching, exchange of sexual images, and providing drugs and alcohol to minors.
Rockstar Cheer and Dance have since announced its indefinite closure. Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing.
Multiple victims have come forth to accuse prominent Cheer Athletics coach Jason McCartney of cheerleader sexual abuse across several events, with one reporting inappropriate behavior even before McCartney was associated with cheer.
McCartney is said to have occasionally groped cheerleaders’ breasts and genitals in the pretext of spotting them or giving them touch feedback on their routines. Two of McCartney’s victims, twin cheerleading stars Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher, said that they reported the incident to USASF, but the federation took no action.
Netflix’s Cheer Coaches
Three coaches known from Netflix’s docu-series Cheer have been embroiled in their own cheerleader sexual abuse cases. Jerry Harris allegedly abused several victims, even after the USASF was first notified of such incidents. He was only suspended after a news outlet published an article about him; during four months of inaction by the USASF, Harris continued to coach at multiple camps run by the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA).
Two other Cheer cast members, Mitchell Ryan and Robert Scianna Jr., were arrested for sexual misconduct with minors. Ryan was arrested for aggravated sexual assault against a fifteen-year-old he invited to his apartment to practice stunts. Meanwhile, Scianna was arrested for soliciting sex from a teen boy online, to which he plead guilty.