Two additional sexual assault lawsuits have been filed against a cheerleading coach and a cheerleading organization based in Plano, months after the initial public claims were made by a pair of twin sisters.
The lawsuits detail an alleged pattern of abuse and negligence at the hands of Jason McCartney, a longtime coach with Cheer Athletics, which operates multiple gyms in several states.
The reported victims, who are now women, claim that they were abused during their adolescent and teenage years by McCartney at Cheer Athletics locations in Garland, which has since closed, and others in Collin County.
The lawsuits claim that McCartney inappropriately touched the girls, identified in the lawsuits as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, on multiple occasions under the guise of coaching, acting as a “spotter” or hugging that then progressed to fondling, and that Cheer Athletics did not do enough to prevent the behavior.
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Neither McCartney nor Cheer Athletics have responded publicly to the new lawsuits, filed late last week in Dallas County court.
In July, sisters Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher, both aged 22, filed a similar lawsuit against McCartney, Cheer Athletics, and multiple other cheerleading organizations. The sisters claimed that they were 15 when the abuse began at the hands of coach Jason McCartney.
Jody Melton, a representative of Cheer Athletics, replied to the Gerlacher sisters’ lawsuit in a statement to NBC DFW:
"Cheer Athletics remains steadfast in its commitment to athlete safety, including any improper contact between athletes and coaches and has an established track record of taking swift action to address such allegations, including making mandatory reports to law enforcement. In this instance, the Gerlachers never made Cheer Athletics aware of their allegations against Mr. McCartney during their years as athletes or in the nearly six years since they left the program.," the statement said.
Following that initial statement, Cheer Athletics announced to its 244,000 Instagram followers that it would partner with The Sports Compliance Company as a “third-party misconduct reporting solution” as well as use the outside organization to provide comprehensive training for its staff, athletes, parents, and vendors.
“We encourage all victims to come forward when they are ready,” the Instagram statement read, in part.