A recent USA Today report found that “nearly 180 individuals affiliated with cheerleading who have faced charges relating to sexual misconduct involving minors but were not banned by the sport’s two governing bodies, USASF and USA Cheer. More than 140 of them – a group that includes coaches, choreographers and others directly tied to the activity – have been convicted, and 74 are registered sex offenders.” According to the report, USASF often does not ban individuals facing sexual abuse charges until they are convicted, and sometimes still does not ban them even after a conviction. The report outlines several examples in which individuals with existing sexual abuse charges working in or with USASF member gyms who abused children.
USA Today further reports:
USASF and USA Cheer’s abuse prevention policies appear to lie in those organizations’ own hands. But both entities were founded by and retain strong ties to Varsity Spirit, a for-profit company that dominates the sport.
Varsity – whose empire extends into cheer clothing, camps and competitions – provided the startup capital for USASF in 2003. Four years later, the company created USA Cheer, the national governing body that serves as the umbrella organization for all aspects of cheerleading, including school-based programs, youth and recreational clubs and the U.S. national teams.
These are only allegations and have not at this time been proven in court.
Sauder Schelkopf has a nationally recognized litigation practice. Our former prosecutors have extensive experience representing victims of all ages.
- Sauder Schelkopf, and co-counsel, recently reached a $215 million settlement on behalf of female patients of Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at the University of Southern California accused of sexual misconduct since the 1990s.
- We have represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse in dioceses throughout the country.
- We have a class action lawsuit pending on behalf of males who were victims of sexual misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss, the Ohio State team doctor, while they were students and student-athletes at Ohio State University.
- We have been court-appointed as Interim Co-Class Counsel to represent former students of the University of Michigan who were victims of sexual misconduct by Dr. Robert E. Anderson, former director of University Health Service, and a former athletic team physician, who worked at the University of Michigan from 1968 until his retirement in 2003.
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If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, you can confidentially contact the lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page or calling 888.711.9975