Cheerleading Twins Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher Accuse Cheer Athletics Coach Jason McCartney of Groping

A pair of award-winning cheerleading stars with a hefty Instagram following allege they had been molested by their coach as youngsters whereas coaching at gyms in Texas.

Legal professionals for 22-year-old twins Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher mentioned in a civil lawsuit filed in Travis County on Monday that the sexual abuse started when the sisters had been 15 years outdated. They allege their coach Jason McCartney repeatedly fondled and groped them at Cheer Athletics gyms in Frisco and Plano.

In accordance with the go well with, McCartney used the pretense of “recognizing” the twins as an excuse to the touch their breasts, crotches, and buttocks, and push his erection in opposition to them. The twins say within the go well with they now look again figuring out the recognizing was not for his or her security however “for his personal sick pleasure.”

McCartney additionally instructed Hannah to sit down on his lap and fondled her genitals, the go well with says.

The lawsuit alleges that on one event throughout group tryouts, an occasion the place mother and father had been forbidden from attending, McCartney pressed Hannah up in opposition to the cupboards. He had one hand on her neck, whereas his physique was pressed in opposition to hers. “Hannah was too frightened to make any noise as he touched her physique,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that the twins anonymously filed a criticism with the U.S. All Star Cheer Federation on its web site, alleging McCartney had sexually abused them. Officers at USASF “took no motion” to research the allegations or notify mother and father and didn’t droop McCartney, the lawsuit alleges.

The Gerlachers, cheer opponents turned coaches and social media influencers with greater than 60,000 Instagram followers, additionally title Cheer Athletics and the USASF as defendants, accusing them of failing to behave when the nameless criticism was filed in opposition to McCartney who, after teaching the twins, turned co-owner at Cheer Athletics’ Austin health club.

The lawsuit comes weeks after an unbiased inspector common identified failures by the FBI to correctly study complaints of sexual abuse in opposition to Larry Nassar, the previous physician of the usA. Gymnastics nationwide group and Michigan State sports activities, who continued to abuse a minimum of 70 younger athletes between 2015 and 2016.

A lawyer for the Gerlachers, Michelle Simpson Tuegel, who has offered authorized counsel to survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse together with Olympic gymnast Tasha Schwikert, informed The Every day Beast that McCartney’s alleged abuse appeared to imitate that sample.

“The sample of brushing apart sexual abuse within the sport of cheerleading is unfortunately fairly much like what we witnesses in gymnastics after I represented the Nassar survivors,” Tuegel mentioned.

She slammed the health club’s efforts to defend McCartney, calling out the ability for a repeated inclination to defend and assist alleged sexual predators on the expense of younger athletes.

An investigation by USA Today in September discovered that greater than 100 individuals who had been convicted of sexual misconduct involving minors had been nonetheless actively concerned in cheer circles and had not been banned by the game’s governing our bodies USASF and USA Cheer.

USASF issued a press release Monday condemning sexual assault and asserting that they’ve taken “vital steps” to answer misconduct allegations.

“We deplore any occasion of sexual misconduct or harassment of our members, and we’ve got taken vital steps to answer stories of misconduct and to make it clear that there isn’t any place for sexual predators within the cheer and dance neighborhood,” the assertion mentioned.

The lawsuit just isn’t the primary time USASF and Cheer Athletics’ have been entangled in sexual assault allegations. Final yr, when two teen brothers accused Jerry Harris from the Netflix collection Cheer of grooming them, they listed three organizations linked to Harris as co-defendants of their lawsuit: Cheer Athletics, Varsity Spirit and USASF.

Cheer Athletics mentioned Harris was solely ever one in every of their athlete members nonetheless attorneys for the brothers mentioned they needed authorities to research the organizations to find out if any executives and workers may have stopped Harris’ abuse however failed to take action.

The Gerlacher twins issued a press release on Monday that criticized inaction round abuse and the failures of gyms and sports activities organizations to guard younger athletes.

“The silence surrounding abusive coaches, and the failures of gyms like Cheer Athletics and USASF to guard minor athletes has to cease,” the twins wrote. “We’ve gained power from watching girls in gymnastics converse out about abuse, and we’re right here to cease the same tradition within the sport of cheerleading.”

For years, the twins reported feeling disgrace however mentioned they now consider they’re not the one ones who’ve been abused by McCartney, who has labored with Cheer Athletics at varied gyms since 2005, in keeping with the go well with. Tuegel mentioned on Tuesday that in simply 24 hours for the reason that lawsuit landed she’s obtained calls from mother and father sharing considerations about sexual abuse in cheerleading and in regards to the coach.

The Cheer Athletics health club in Austin the place McCartney works didn’t instantly return a request for touch upon Tuesday. | Cheerleading Twins Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher Accuse Cheer Athletics Coach Jason McCartney of Groping


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