Georgia cheerleading gym faces federal lawsuit after teen claims he was raped by trainer

MARIETTA – The Stingray Allstars cheerleading gym in Marietta is the subject of a lawsuit after a teenager said she was sexually assaulted by a coach.

According to the charges, he was 15 years old at the time.

The gym released a statement, saying:

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“After 22 years in our community, The Stingray Allstars were pressed to be named to our first panel. We have a long history of taking any rumors of child abuse to law enforcement, and the Stingray Allstars reported this to Marietta PD immediately upon learning this information in September 2022. Robert Stone was an athlete and part of our coach in the training program. and other high school students in the area. In February 2021, The Stingray Allstars dismissed Robert Stone and another female athlete from their 18-and-under team due to an unrelated conduct issue. Both of these players were graduating high school when they were kicked out of our program. We are very grateful that our victim and her mother feel safe and supported that they are now competing on one of our Stingray teams. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim and his recovery is important to the entire Stingray Allstars family,” said Casey Jones, President of The Stingray Allstars.

Channel 2’s Michele Newell was in Cobb County, where police say they began investigating when the victim came forward in September 2022.

Stone was charged with aggravated sodomy in October 2022. He was kicked out of the gym in 2021 for an unrelated matter.

According to the lawsuit that was recently filed, the Stingray organization is said to have known about the abuse, but did nothing about it.

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The lawsuit alleges that the assault became known to the public at the gym, but none of the employees or adults reported it to the police.

Enduring the attack, the lawsuit says John Doe became intoxicated. One of the coaches is said to have pulled him aside and told him to stop drinking because of his “bad reputation” because “you know what happened to who you know.”

The lawsuit goes on to allege that the gym and the US All Star Federation did not do enough to protect their underage athletes, including John Doe.

Stingray’s says it sent several letters to parents about the alleged incident in September and told the parents what was done to resolve it, including contacting the police.

“Everybody got an email about what was going on and they were talking about it,” said Angela Curtis, whose son attends the gym.

Angela Curtis says her son has been working at the gym for 10 years and has never had a problem.

“I was shocked because we have been at the gym for 10 years and I have never experienced anything like this. If we didn’t feel that he is safe there, we wouldn’t be here but I 100% feel that he is safe. He definitely goes to the gym. There would be no reason why I would make him go even if something like that was supposed to have happened. “I have full confidence that Casey and the Stingrays will take care of themselves because they care about their players,” said Curtis.

Mr. Stingray said his heart and prayers are with the victim and his recovery is important to the entire organization. He also said that he is currently a member of this team.

Metro Police say fentanyl overdoses have spiked in the past several months. There were 62 overdose cases from January to September. That’s double the number from last year.

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