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cheerleaders

  • Federal, civil lawsuits first filed in South Carolina alleging sexual abuse at competitive cheerleading gyms now include California.
  • 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.
  • South Carolina attorneys expand allegations of sexual abuse, drugs and pornography in competitive cheerleading as mothers share pain of abuse.
  • A Tennessee cheerleading gym faces sexual abuse allegations in a case that escalates the accusations against some of the sport's top institutions. A federal lawsuit brought Monday by two anonymous plaintiffs alleges that an adult coach at Premier Athletics sexually assaulted teenage boys. Lawyers brought a similar complaint this month against coaches at Rockstar Cheer in South Carolina. Attorneys say that in both cases, Varsity Spirit and the U.S. All Star Federation failed to provide a safe environment. The plaintiffs' lawyers said at a news conference Tuesday that insular systems within the cheer industry make it difficult for athletes to report misconduct.
  • A lawsuit alleging the rampant sexual abuse of underage athletes at a competitive cheerleading gym in South Carolina has been amended to name six more coaches as defendants and three more accusers. The accusers — now seven female and two male — say in the federal lawsuit amended Thursday that they were sexually abused by coaches at Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance in Greenville, which is in the northwestern corner of the state. The accusers' lawyers allege that sexual abuse at the gym could date back two decades. According to the lawsuit, the abuse ranged from rape and forced oral sex to molestation and pressuring children as young as 13 to send nude photos of themselves to coaches.
  • A federal lawsuit alleges that multiple cheerleading coaches in South Carolina abused at least six students, including boys and girls. Scott Foster was the head of Rockstar Cheer of Greenville. Police say he killed himself last month. The lawsuit filed Thursday names him and alleges that he and other coaches also provided cheerleading students with drugs and alcohol. One of the lawyers representing the alleged victims said a "coven of sexual predators" operated at the school for more than a decade. Attorneys say state and federal police are investigating the abuse. Police have declined to comment to news outlets.