GREENVILLE, S.C. – Several cheerleading coaches have been charged with multiple misconduct and illicit sexual conduct with minors in a new federal lawsuit filed in South Carolina.
Among the coaches was Rockstar Cheer founder Scott Foster, who died by suicide last week. Foster is accused of soliciting sex and explicit photos of athletes under his care. But his behavior, the lawsuit says, is symptomatic of a much broader problem.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Greenville, South Carolina, names several defendants — including the property of Foster, his widow Kathy Foster, Rockstar Cheer and Dance Inc., the national cheerleading organization, the United States All Star Federation and Varsity Spirit LLC, and the corporate entity Charlesbank Capital Partners. and Bain Capital. According to the lawsuit, Bain purchased Varsity Spirit from Charlesbank in 2018.
Over 44 pages, the complaint, filed on behalf of six anonymous plaintiffs by lawyers from Strom Law Firm, details an exploitative system with little accountability that “creates, regulates and propagates a system of abuse of young athletes against innocent victims.”
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What is alleged in the new lawsuit?
“This is a harassment factory designed specifically to accomplish two things: a constant supply of underage victims for Scott Foster and his fellow predators and a billion-dollar revenue stream to Varsity Spirit, USASF and Bain Capital,” said attorney Strom Bakari Sellers. On the same subject : Ravens vs Panthers – Game Recap – August 21, 2021. “Instead of protecting these young men and women, they are victims and cashing their checks.”
The lawsuit names nine counts of misconduct, including negligence, negligent supervision, assault and battery and “extortion activity,” among others.
The complaint also contains graphic allegations of “sexual exploitation of children” by Foster and other coaches, including rape, administering illegal drugs and alcohol to underage athletes, and the creation and distribution of “obscene material involving minors,” both both men and women.
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Some of the alleged victims trained at Foster’s gym in Greer, South Carolina. In another case, Foster, a nationally renowned cheer coach, connected with athletes via social media, according to the lawsuit. In at least one case, the lawsuit claims, this relationship led to sexual intercourse in various competitions.
Other coaches accused in lawsuit, but none named
The lawsuit alleges the defendants are aware of “serious and disturbing allegations” against not only Scott Foster, but “many University coaches. This may interest you : PHOTOS: Detroit Lions in action during the preseason.”
Another trainer accused of sexual harassment was not named, but Sellers said his company intends to file “consecutive cases with more victims,” including “accusations against the gym and other trainers.”
Some of the coaches, who have not been named, said Sellers, are based at Rockstar Cheer.
The Strom complaint is the second lawsuit to level misconduct against Foster and Rockstar Cheer in three days. The first, filed Tuesday in Greenville County, accuses Foster of “persuading” an underage girl to have sex with him after an inappropriate exchange of communications on Snapchat.
Previous report: Lawsuit claims Rockstar Cheer founder Scott Foster ‘persuaded’ girls to have sex
USASF, Varsity Spirit also named in suit
The initial lawsuit also named USASF and Varsity Spirit among the defendants, alleging they failed to address Foster’s misconduct complaint before and during the alleged abuse. On the same subject : Roster Moves: Jaguars agree to terms with 15 undrafted free agents.
Ahead of the lawsuits, Varsity Spirt and USASF released a statement addressing the allegations.
“Scott Foster has been charged with the crime of abhorrent, predatory behavior. The alleged actions run counter to all that the cheer and dance community purports to represent… We are deeply saddened by anyone who has been affected by the horrific behavior and breach of trust he is accused of representing. ,” said Varsity Spirit president Bill Seely in a statement Tuesday.
In a similar statement released Aug. 30, USASF said that the organization would not comment on specific allegations to “allow law enforcement to investigate appropriately”, and encouraged anyone with knowledge of the allegations to report them to law enforcement and the organization.
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Neither Varsity Spirit nor USASF have responded to direct calls or emails from The Greenville News, part of the USA TODAY Network, over the past week in relation to previous complaints made about Foster or Rockstar Cheer to their respective organizations.
Foster, 49, was found dead in his vehicle with gunshot wounds on Aug. 22 in Paris Mountain State Park, according to the Greenville County Coroner’s Office. His death was considered a suicide.
According to the second lawsuit, at the time of his death, Foster was “recently aware of an investigation against him by the Department of Homeland Security relating to allegations that he sexually abused underage athletes, as well as carried underage athletes across state lines for the purpose of sexual intercourse.” sex.”
When contacted by The Greenville News, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security would neither confirm nor deny such an investigation.
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Follow Clare Amari on Twitter @Amari_Clare.