The lawsuit alleges that the late owner of Greenville-based Rockstar Cheer abused more than 100 children over the course of several years.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 100 “Jane Doe” victims accuses a South Carolina cheerleading gym and its parent company of facilitating sexual abuse against minors.
According to Fox News, Scott Foster—the co-owner of Rockstar Cheer in Greenville—committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in August.
Bakari Sellers, an attorney with the Strom Law Firm, released a statement suggesting that Rockstar Cheer was “designed” to provide Foster with vulnerable victims.
“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,” Sellers said in a Thursday statement. “Instead of protecting these young men and women, they victimized them and cashed their checks.”
Fox News notes that Foster and his wife, Kathy—the co-owner of Rockstar—had recently learned that the Department of Homeland Security was investigating the gym over allegations that Scott Foster was “sexually abusing underage athletes, as well as taking underage athletes across state lines for the purposes of engaging in sex.”
The lawsuit also names as defendants Varsity Spirit, LLC; Bain Capital, LP; and the U.S. All Star Federation, or USASF.
Attorneys for the underage victims claim that the plaintiffs, collectively, created “a competitive environment soliciting young athletes to cross state lines with minimal parental or adult supervision, to converge at pre-scheduled locations where the athletes would then be exposed to drugs, alcohol, and predatory conduct by adults including coaches and choreographers, all while publicly representing that Defendants were providing a culture of safety at the same events.”
The lawsuit, adds Fox News, also asserts that the defendant companies and organizations were aware that Foster had been accused of sexual predation before his suicide.
In their complaint, the victims and their families claim that Foster was known to have rented out “an apartment for his athletes where some of them would live, and where minor athletes would gather to do drugs and drink alcohol with and without Defendant Foster.”
Foster also purportedly “engaged in illicit sexual acts with underage athletes who were not old enough to provide consent.”
“All Defendants were co-conspirators in a scheme to get as many families as possible to entrust their child athletes to these private gyms and coaches so that those coaches would bring the athletes to the moneymaking competitions throughout the United States during the year,” the lawsuit states.
Jessica Fickling, another attorney for the Strom Law Firm, said that additional lawsuits from victims in other jurisdiction could be filed.
“Scott Foster and his allies did their best to intimidate and isolate their targets, making these young people feel alone and somehow responsible,” Fickling said in a statement. “Well, they’re not alone anymore. We’re standing with them and we stand with all of the survivors coming forward.”