Joe Osborne & Greg Francis, Personal Injury Lawyers & Founders of Osborne & Francis

Cheerleader Sexual Assault

Cheerleader Sexual Assault: Hire a Lawyer for Assistance

An increasing number of sexual assault lawsuits are arising in connection with cheerleading organizations. Parents send their children to cheerleading camps and events expecting them to be protected from inappropriate behavior. Instead, many are shocked to discover their children exposed to a culture of sexual assault and abuse.

A recent slew of lawsuits is arising in connection with sexual assaults happening in youth cheerleading organizations. These have involved a wide range of misconduct, including indecent exposure, pornography, drug and alcohol use, and inappropriate relationships between minor athletes and their coaches or supervisors. 

Cheerleading companies like Varsity Brands and Elite Legacy are being sued for negligence in allowing conditions to occur that foster a culture of sexual abuse and assault among the cheerleader participants. Legal action is needed to compensate survivors of the abuse and to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

If you or someone you know has been affected by cheerleader sexual assault, you need the services of an attorney with experience in the matter. Contact us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a private consultation where we can discuss your legal rights in a confidential setting. At Osborne & Francis, our Florida-based lawyers have the empathy and compassion needed to handle these types of matters. 

What Types of Misconduct Are Involved in Cheerleading Sexual Assault Cases?

Reports of sexual assault happening at cheerleader practices, camps, competitions, and events are widespread and involve a broad range of misconduct. These may include:

  • Assaults of a non-consensual sexual nature
  • Nudity/indecent exposure
  • Groping, touching, and inappropriate contact during cheer moves and lifts
  • Masturbation
  • Inappropriate relationships
  • Abuse 
  • Pornography
  • Use of drugs and alcohol at camps and events

Much of the problem with cheerleader sexual assault is that the cheerleader organizations often fail to perform background checks on adults involved in the programs. In many cases, they may fail to remove the offender even after an assault has occurred. 

This creates circumstances where sexual abuses are repeated and multiple athletes are involved with the same perpetrator. Liable parties may include coaches, supervisors, choreographers, trainers, and other adults who are allowed to be near the cheerleader participants. Entire cheerleading organizations can also be held liable if they fail to ensure the safety of the athletes involved.

What Types of Damages Can a Cheerleading Sexual Assault Attorney Help With?

An experienced lawyer can help obtain significant compensation on behalf of cheerleading sexual assault survivors. Assaults can create long-term conditions and challenges for the survivor, which will require ongoing treatment, often well into adulthood. 

A cheerleader sexual assault lawsuit or settlement can provide financial assistance for costs such as:

  • Medical treatment, which can often be extensive and ongoing
  • Rehabilitation and counseling, which might not always be covered by insurance
  • Pain and suffering damages related to psychological and emotional stresses
  • Punitive damages intended to punish the perpetrator and prevent further abuses
  • Other costs such as attorney’s fees and reimbursement for cheerleading activity expenses

Sexual assault is a serious issue, and perpetrators must be held accountable to the fullest extent under the law. Pursuing legal action can help compensate sexual assault survivors, identify the perpetrator, and possibly prevent other cases from occurring.

Video Transcript

So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:

Number One: See a doctor immediately. 

A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.

A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care. 

Number Two: Write everything down.

Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain. 

You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered. 

Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.

Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them. 

So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.

Damages in a cheerleader sexual assault case can depend on several factors, including the degree of harm, the amount of negligence involved, and even the skill of the attorney handling the case. At Osborne & Francis, we have a proven record of returning significant verdicts and settlements for our clients. Reach out to us at (561) 293-2600 to learn more about your legal rights and options.

A Culture of Sexual Assault in Cheerleading Associations

As mentioned, entire cheerleading organizations are being sued for allowing the conditions to exist which compromise the safety of youth cheerleaders. In many cases, they have been found to be actually promoting a culture of sexual assault and abuse.

Cheerleading organizations can be held liable for such egregious conduct as: 

  • Allowing an unchaperoned environment for child/youth athletes
  • Failing to perform proper background checks on adult coaches, supervisors, and choreographers
  • Failing to remove adults even after sexual assaults and abuses were discovered
  • Fostering a party culture at events and competitions where alcohol and drugs were readily available
  • Not providing adequate monitoring at cheerleading gyms, camps, tournaments, and competitions 
  • Focusing more on athletic safety and appearance of uniforms rather than safety from sexual harm

Thus, cheerleading sexual abuses are not random events. They are part of a larger, systemic, and cultural atmosphere of misconduct that has been allowed to thrive due to lax policies and enforcement on behalf of youth cheerleading organizations. Pursuing legal action can help to dismantle this ongoing system of abuse and help ensure safer policies for participants.

How Do I Recognize Abuse? What Are the Signs of Sexual Assault in Cheerleading?

Sexual assault and abuse can often result in identifiable signs and symptoms, especially in teens and younger children. The following may be signs that your child or teenager may be dealing with sexual abuse issues:  

  • Unexplained marks or scars on the body
  • Sudden changes in personality, attitude, or behavior
  • Acting aloof or distant
  • Wearing baggy or loose-fitting clothing
  • Emerging interest in sexual topics
  • Expressing fear of a specific person (such as a coach or choreographer)
  • Avoiding a certain place or a person

If you believe that your child or teenager may be affected by cheerleader sexual assault, you should provide comfort and reassure them that you’re on their side. Survivors of assault may often feel confused, guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed of the abuse even if it’s not their fault. Talking to them and initiating conversation may help them to verbalize and process their feelings. 

contact our office to speak to a lawyer.

do you still have questions?

How is cheerleader sexual assault allowed to happen?

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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

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Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

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Do I Need to Hire a Cheerleader Sexual Assault Lawyer?

Cases involving cheerleader sexual assault can involve complex legal issues and highly sensitive matters. They require the special attention and care of an attorney who has specific experience in handling such emotionally and psychologically challenging matters. 

At Osborne & Francis, we have extensive experience in holding organizations responsible for any violations and misconduct they perpetrate. We are fierce advocates and protectors of people’s dignity and rights. 

If you, a loved one, or a child of yours have been impacted by sexual assault in connection with cheerleading activities, contact us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your rights. We are on hand to guide you through the process and provide the support and representation needed for your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Cheerleader Sexual Assault Lawsuits

How is cheerleader sexual assault allowed to happen?

Cheerleader sexual assault typically happens because of negligent policies and enforcement by cheerleading organizations that run events and practices. For instance, failure to conduct proper background checks or remove suspicious instructors can create an atmosphere where abuses are allowed to recur. Assaults can also happen when cheerleaders are alone with a coach or choreographer in private sessions where parents are not allowed to attend.

How long will a cheerleader sexual assault lawsuit take?

Each lawsuit is different, and there is no set amount of time for how long one will take. In general, it can take several months to a year or longer to fully complete the legal process. Also, in relation to cheerleading sexual assault cases, multi-district litigation (MDL) claims are being filed, which can alter the overall timeline of the legal case. Contact a lawyer if you have questions about the process.

Who can be held liable?

In most cases, cheerleader sexual assaults happen due to a power imbalance that exists between coaches, supervisors, instructors, choreographers, and younger cheerleader athletes. Such adults can be held liable for abusing their position in a way that involves non-consensual sexual activity. 

In addition, cheerleader organizations and associations can also be held liable if they are negligent in the way they staff and manage practices, events, and competitions.

How can a cheerleading sexual assault attorney help me?

Cases involving sexual abuse or assault of a cheerleader are highly sensitive and complex. An attorney can provide assistance by gathering information and evidence, researching relevant laws, handling all filing and court documentation, generating a strong trial strategy, and negotiating for the maximum damages available under the law. 

If you need legal representation for a sexual assault case, contact Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600 to set up a free consultation.