Competitive Cheerleading Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a prominent problem in competitive cheerleading. Coaches, gym owners and others may take advantage of their positions of power to commit sex crimes against cheerleaders and other athletes. Rather than protecting their cheerleaders, institutions and gyms often ignore sexual misconduct allegations and further perpetuate these crimes.
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, our attorneys are passionate about representing survivors of competitive cheerleading sexual abuse. We can properly handle your claim and pursue maximum financial compensation for the crimes committed against you or your loved one. Please contact us today to discuss your case in more detail during a 100-percent confidential consultation.
What Does Sexual Abuse in Competitive Cheerleading Look Like?
Sexual abuse and assault in competitive cheerleading have stayed concealed from the public eye for decades due to institutional abuse, cheerleading organizations sweeping sexual abuse complaints under the rug and victims not recognizing sexual abuse until many years later. It is important for competitive cheerleaders to learn what constitutes sexual abuse so that they are better able to protect themselves. Examples of sexual abuse in competitive cheerleading include:
- Any type of sexual touching, fondling or groping by a coach or someone else in cheerleading.
- A cheer coach flirting with cheerleaders or asking them out on dates.
- A coach sending sexually explicit text messages or photographs.
- Soliciting sex, sexual acts or pornographic images from athletes.
- Exposing sexual organs to a victim.
- Giving inappropriate massages to athletes.
- A sports doctor inappropriately touching, groping or penetrating an athlete under the guise of medical care.
- A superior requiring submission to sexual acts in order for a cheerleader to compete.
Many different sexually inappropriate actions and behaviors constitute sexual abuse in competitive cheerleading, as the definition of sexual abuse is broad. Sadly, major organizations in the world of competitive cheerleading – including the US All-Star Federation – have been known to cover up complaints and reports of sexual abuse, furthering a culture of sexual misconduct in cheerleading.
Civil Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse in Competitive Cheerleading
Sexual abuse is highly prevalent in competitive cheerleading. As is the case in many different sports, competitive cheerleading involves an imbalance of power between coaches, gym owners and cheerleading organizations and their aspiring cheerleaders. This can result in perpetrators taking advantage of victims, oftentimes without fear of repercussions by the organizations that employ them. Our law firm is currently representing clients in two major sexual abuse lawsuits in competitive cheerleading.
Cheerleader Sexual Abuse Lawsuit: Jerry Harris
In September 2020, cheerleader Jerry Harris – part of the famous Navarro Cheer Team that was the center of the Netflix documentary, “Cheer” – was arrested on allegations of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate touching, sending lewd pictures and soliciting sex from a minor. Harris met his victims through the world of cheerleading. John C. Manly of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is currently representing two minors in a civil lawsuit against Harris and the US All-Star Federation.
Los Angeles Cheerleading Coach Sexual Assault Lawsuit: Michael Edmond
In November 2020, Athens Park cheer coach Michael Edmond was charged with the sexual assault of five girls under his tutelage. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office charged Edmond with 7 counts of forcible lewd acts and 1 count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. These incidents spanned from June 1, 2020, to September 1, 2020, with victims ranging from 9 to 12 years old.
Contact Us Today for a Confidential Case Review
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse in competitive cheerleading by a coach, cheerleader, choreographer, gym owner or the US All-Star Federation, consult with an attorney from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to find out if you have grounds to file a lawsuit. We are highly experienced with these types of cases and can help you understand your rights. Although we know how difficult it is to come forward, your courage can lead to changes on an institutional level that may prevent other cheerleaders from the same fate. We are here to believe you and fight for you. call our East Coast office at (800) 700-8450, our West Coast office at (855) 964-0661 for a free and confidential consultation.