More coaches named in South Carolina cheerleading abuse lawsuit

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A lawsuit alleging sexual harassment of minors at a South Carolina sports club has been amended to say more six teachers are defendants and the other three defendants.

The defendants — now seven women and two men — said in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that they were sexually assaulted by instructors at Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance in Greenville, which is in the northwest part of the state. It is alleged by the accused lawyers that the sexual violence in the gym can start from twenty years and there may be up to 100 other victims who have not come forward.

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Bakari Sellers, compared the case to Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor who is serving up to 40 years in prison. when he admitted that he had abused some of the best players in the country. year.

None of Rockstar’s coaches have been charged and the Associated Press has not been named. State and federal law enforcement are investigating the gym and other entertainment facilities and have seized computers, cell phones and other evidence, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, James Bannister, said earlier this week. month. He said that the law firms requested that they not be identified.

According to the complaint, the abuse ranged from rape and forced oral sex to sexual harassment and forcing children as young as 13 to throw naked laughs at the teachers. The court also describes situations where teachers gave students alcohol and cannabis in their homes and in hotel rooms during sports competitions.

The allegations were first made against the founder of the gym, Scott Foster, who was found dead in his car on August 22.

Kathy Foster, his widow, announced earlier this month that Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance would be closing “indefinitely.”

“While this was a difficult decision, I believe it was the best decision under the circumstances,” Foster said in a statement reported by local NBC station WYFF. and I will always be very proud of each and every one of them. I am asking for privacy for my children and for those who have been personally affected by this difficult time.”

The amended suit details several instances of alleged abuse of players outside of South Carolina at games sanctioned by Varsity Spirit, which administers the tournament, and the U.S. All Star Federation, the group that happily governs the country.

Varsity Spirit President Bill Seely said in a statement on Sept. 1 that the allegations detailed a “heinous, slanderous crime” and were “reckless to hear.” In an Aug. 30 statement, the USASF said the organization was “disappointed to learn of the allegations regarding the abuse.” The statement refused to comment on developments pending the investigation by law enforcement and reiterated that members should report any allegations.

The plaintiff’s lawyers stated that they intend to file more lawsuits to name other people who are committing the crime in other gyms in the country.

“We are talking about the ongoing abuse that was reported to everyone including the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department,” Attorney Bakari Sellers said in a statement. “For Varsity Spirit, the USASF and Bain Capital, these survivors were not harmed. They did their checks. They did nothing to stop this abuse at that time and they are not doing anything to now.”

James Pollard is a staff member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Reporting for America is a national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on secret issues.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, published, reproduced or redistributed without permission.

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