Rockstar Cheer is a nationally franchised gym, offering classes in dance, tumbling, and other fundamentals of cheerleading. It was founded by Greenville resident Scott Foster. Foster died on Monday, and there is currently an investigation into his death.
However, FITS News reports that the investigation onto Foster’s death isn’t the only investigation ongoing concerning the former cheer coach: “According to multiple alleged victims, their family members, law enforcement sources and attorneys representing individuals involved in the case, Foster was staring down the business end of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into (among other things) allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls” [emphasis ours].
This investigation into Foster is, allegedly, part of a larger investigation into Rockstar Cheer itself. FITS News was able to obtain records from the U.S. All Star Federation that showed “Foster was disciplined by the federation for multiple infractions – leading to Rockstar Cheer being placed on probation from 2017 through 2021.” FITS News also reports that people are sharing their own stories of discomfort around Foster via social media.
McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC represents survivors of sexual assault and abuse. If you were abused or assault by Scott Foster or someone else at Rockstar Cheer, or at any cheer facility in South Carolina, call us today to learn how we can help.
Why cheerleading is rife with child sex abuse
A 2018 expose by the New York Times revealed that professional cheerleaders viewed “groping and harassment” as part of the job, but that type of predatory behavior is endemic in cheerleading. In 2020, USA Today investigated stories of sexual misconduct with minors involved with US All Star Federal Cheer (USASF) and USA Cheer. From the National Law Review:
A recent USA Today investigation revealed that US All Star Federal Cheer (“USASF”) and USA Cheer, the two top national cheerleading associations, may not be taking sufficient steps to prevent individuals (including coaches and choreographers), who have been charged and/or convicted of sexual misconduct involving minors, to continue to be directly involved in the sport. The USA Today investigation identified 180 such individuals, seventy-four of which were convicted and/or are registered sex offenders.
That same year, the FBI arrested and charged Jerry Harris, star of the Netflix show “Cheer,” with soliciting sex from minors and possession of child pornography, among other charges. Harris was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 12 years.
In 2021, two star cheerleaders – Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher – filed a lawsuit against Cheer Athletics and US All Star Cheer Federation alleging sexual abuse by one of their coaches.
These are only a handful of recent stories, but there are so many more.
Cheerleading, much like gymnastics, largely involves young girls and older coaches. These girls are trained from the start to put their absolute faith in their coaches, their doctors, and their teammates. They are taught and trained to believe that one mistake or error could harm their team as a whole. This makes them ideal candidates for predators, who can groom them from a young age.
What are my rights if I, or my child, was sexually abused by a cheerleading coach?
If your child was sexually abused or assaulted by a cheerleading coach, a doctor, another member of the team, or anyone involved in the cheer organization, we can help. McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC can represent your child in a civil claim against the abusers and the organization. This may mean filing a lawsuit in court.
If you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a cheerleading coach or an employee of their facility, you may still be able to file a lawsuit. Under the law in South Carolina, minor victims of sexual assault have up to six years from the time they turn 21 to make a claim. Our sexual abuse and assault attorneys can seek damages such as:
- Medical expenses, including therapy or counseling for psychological trauma as well as any expenses related to physical injuries
- Lost wages, including loss of endorsements and/or scholarship money for your child or wages you lost caring for your child
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC fights for survivors throughout South Carolina. We have the experience and resources you want on your side, and provide a safe and discreet environment in which to tell your story. We can accommodate your request for a male or female attorney, and will schedule a phone or video conference if that is more comfortable for you. Please call 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood