Among the coaches is Rockstar Cheer founder Scott Foster, who died by suicide final week. Foster is accused of soliciting intercourse and express pictures from athletes below his care. However his conduct, the lawsuit alleges, is a symptom of a a lot wider drawback.
The go well with, filed Thursday in Greenville, South Carolina, names a number of defendants – together with Foster’s property, his widow Kathy Foster, Rockstar Cheer and Dance Inc., nationwide cheerleading organizations, the United States All Star Federation and Varsity Spirit LLC, and company entities Charlesbank Capital Partners and Bain Capital. According to the lawsuit, Bain purchased Varsity Spirit from Charlesbank in 2018.
In over 44 pages, the criticism, filed on behalf of six nameless plaintiffs by attorneys from Strom Law Firm, particulars an exploitative system with little accountability that “created, organized and propagated a system of young-athlete abuse against innocent victims.”
What is alleged within the new lawsuit?
“This was a factory of abuse designed specifically to generate 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,” stated Strom lawyer Bakari Sellers. “Instead of protecting these young men and women, they victimized them and cashed their checks.”
The lawsuit names 9 counts of motion, together with gross negligence, negligent supervision, assault and battery and “racketeering activity,” amongst others.
The criticism additionally accommodates graphic allegations of “child sexual exploitation” by Foster and different coaches, including rape, the availability of medicine and alcohol to underage athletes, and the creation and dissemination of “obscene materials involving minors,” each female and male.
Some of the alleged victims educated at Foster’s health club in Greer, South Carolina. In different circumstances, Foster, a cheer coach of nationwide renown, related with athletes through social media, based on the lawsuit. In no less than one case, the lawsuit claims, this connection led to sexual encounters at a number of competitions.
Other coaches accused in lawsuit, however none named
The lawsuit alleges the defendants had been conscious of “serious and disturbing allegations” towards not solely Scott Foster, however “many of the Varsity coaches.”
The different coaches accused of sexual abuse will not be named, however Sellers stated his agency meant to file “successive cases with more victims,” together with “allegations against other gyms and coaches.”
Some of the coaches but to be named, Sellers stated, are primarily based at Rockstar Cheer.
The Strom criticism is the second lawsuit to degree allegations of misconduct towards Foster and Rockstar Cheer within the area of three days. The first, filed Tuesday in Greenville County, alleged Foster “persuaded” an underage lady to have intercourse with him after an change of inappropriate communications on Snapchat.
USASF, Varsity Spirit additionally named in go well with
The preliminary go well with additionally named USASF and Varsity Spirit among the many defendants, accusing them of failing to appropriately handle complaints of misbehavior by Foster earlier than and in the course of the alleged abuse.
Ahead of the lawsuits, Varsity Spirt and USASF launched statements addressing the allegations.
“Scott Foster is accused of abhorrent criminal, predatory conduct. The alleged conduct runs counter to everything the cheer and dance community is intended to represent… We are devastated for anyone who has been impacted by the egregious conduct and violation of trust his alleged behavior represents,” stated Varsity Spirit’s president, Bill Seely, in a press release Tuesday.
In the same assertion launched Aug. 30, USASF stated the group wouldn’t touch upon particular allegations to “allow law enforcement to appropriately investigate,” and it inspired anybody with information of allegations to report it to legislation enforcement in addition to the group.
Neither Varsity Spirit nor USASF responded to direct calls or emails from The Greenville News, a part of the USA TODAY Network, over the previous week with regard to prior complaints made about Foster or Rockstar Cheer to the respective organizations.
Foster, 49, was discovered lifeless in his automobile with a gunshot wound on Aug. 22 at Paris Mountain State Park, based on the Greenville County Coroner’s Office. His loss of life was dominated a suicide.
According to the second lawsuit, on the time of his loss of life Foster “had recently learned of an investigation against him by the Department of Homeland Security related to allegations that he was sexually abusing underage athletes, as well as taking underage athletes across state lines for the purposes of engaging in sex.”
When reached by The Greenville News, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security would neither verify nor deny any such investigation.