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cheerleader abuse

  • Federal, civil lawsuits first filed in South Carolina alleging sexual abuse at competitive cheerleading gyms now include California.
  • A series of lawsuits beginning in South Carolina detail the alleged sexual abuse of at least 20 cheerleaders across six states. But the lawsuits don't stop there. Lawyers are also pursuing the same organized crime charges recently brought against high-profile defendants like Harvey Weinstein and the Catholic Church. Alongside the alleged violations of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act are claims the growing sport's leading governing and commercial bodies violated federal racketeering laws. Some of the many defendants are now moving to dismiss the first case in Greenville, South Carolina.
  • The latest lawsuit alleging widespread misconduct across competitive cheerleading says officials permitted two choregraphers to continue working with young athletes after they were investigated for sexual abuse. Twenty plaintiffs have now brought allegations against various coaches since the founder of an elite South Carolina cheerleading gym reportedly killed himself in late August amid an investigation into abuse. Federal complaints filed in Ohio and five other states throughout the Southeast accuse the sport's governing bodies and leading competitive institutions of failing to protect underage athletes.
  • The cheerleading company that makes the sport's top uniforms, camps and competitions is vehemently denying accusations it helped facilitate alleged sexual abuse at gyms across the Southeast outlined in a series of federal lawsuits. Varsity Spirit has been named by civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers and lawyers with the Strom Law Firm in complaints alleging the sexual abuse of cheerleaders by coaches at individual gyms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Attorneys have said leaders at Varsity Spirit failed to provide a safe environment for athletes. Varsity Spirit denied the accusations, and has hired a defamation lawyer.