The lawsuit accuses the coaches with N.C. cheer gym with sexual abuse, says the owners knew

Lawsuits accusing coaches at cheerleading gyms in Raleigh and Kernersville, North Carolina, of sexually abusing a teenage boy say the owners knew about the misconduct.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Raleigh this week, said coaches at Cheer Extreme planted nude photos of a teenager, forced him to engage in sexual acts and pressured him to use cocaine.

What You Need To Know

A federal lawsuit alleges coaches associated with a cheerleading gym in Raleigh of sexually abusing a minor The lawsuit alleges the owners of Cheer Extreme Raleigh knew about possible abuse and did not stop it Other private cheerleading gyms in the southeast have faced a number of similar lawsuits recently The lawsuit accuses the gym and national cheer organizations of creating an atmosphere that allowed children to be abused by coaches

“Defendants Kelly and Randall Helton, as well as coaches including Defendants Chase Burris and Shawn Wilson, allowed athletes under their protection to be emotionally, physically and sexually exploited and abused by adult coaches, choreographers, videographers and vendors ,” the law says. On the same subject : Elliott Page to Executive Produce ‘Backspot’ Drama (Exclusive). The abuse alleged in the lawsuit occurred between approximately 2016 and 2018.

A choreographer associated with the company attempted to have sex with the boy, according to the filing. It is unclear if the coaches and choreographer are still working with cheerleading teams.

The Garner Police Department did not respond to questions about whether any criminal complaints had been filed about the charges, or whether the department is investigating.

The owners of Raleigh Cheer Extreme, Kelly and Randall Helton, did not respond to requests for comment from Spectrum News 1. None of the defendants had lawyers listed in the federal court system as of Friday afternoon.

Varsity Spirit, another defendant that oversees cheerleading competitions and other operations, denied allegations that it helped enable the abuse in the lawsuit.

“First and foremost, we are concerned about the survivors and their families. “Children should always be protected and safe, and no child should be exposed to the type of behavior and abuse alleged in the lawsuits,” the company said in a statement.

“We are outraged that predators have taken advantage of cheerleading programs to abuse innocent children. We reject any accusation that the Varsity Spirit enabled such unthinkable behavior. We are committed to supporting survivors and their pursuit of justice against those responsible,” said Varsity Spirit.

The lawsuit accuses Raleigh Cheer Extreme, the owners and coaches, along with national organizations such as Varsity Spirit, USA Federation for Sport Cheering and US All Star Federation, Inc.

Spectrum News 1 reached out to the other defendants for comment but they did not respond.

All Star faces other lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse in South Carolina and Tennessee.

There have been some recent allegations against coaches associated with the national cheerleading league.

Former Chicago varsity coach Jerry Harris pleaded guilty in July to child pornography charges, according to the Department of Justice. He starred in the Netflix series “Cheer”, a documentary series about competitive cheerleading.

Also in July, police in Daytona Beach, Florida, charged cheerleading coach Erick Kristianson with exposing himself to girls during a video call, according to local police.

In August, another varsity coach, Scott Foster, died by suicide in South Carolina after being accused of sexual misconduct with minors who trained at his gym, according to the Greenville County Coroner’s Office.

In the Raleigh lawsuit, the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, said the abuse began when he was 15 or 16, his first year after joining the Raleigh Cheer Extreme team.

The boy would “hang out socially with the older coach and the other coaches, owners and administrators from Cheer Extreme,” according to the suit. “The coach would like to concern Complainant John Doe 1, hug him and touch him in front of the other Cheer Extreme adults.”

That same coach is accused in the lawsuit of pressuring a teenager to use cocaine.

Another Kernersville coach sent nude photos to the minor on Snapchat, the lawsuit says. When the boy reported it to a coach, he did nothing but tell the teenager to let him know if it happened again, according to the filing.

While at a tournament in Indianapolis, according to the lawsuit, the coach from Kernersville “insisted” the teenager to get into his car.

“The coach continued to drive around, eventually stopping and forcing Plaintiff John Doe 1 to perform oral sex,” according to the lawsuit.

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