A former member of the Navarro School cheerleading squad – which shot to fame on the Netflix sequence “Cheer” – says hard-driving head coach Monica Aldama and the Texas faculty tried to silence her after a teammate sexually assaulted her.
Madi Lane, 22, made the explosive allegations in a federal lawsuit alleging that Aldama, 51, enabled a “pervasive tradition of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and intimidation” on the Navarro School Bulldogs cheer crew.
Teammate Salvatore “Salvo” Amico allegedly entered her dorm room Sept. 1, 2021, crawled into her mattress and started ripping off her underwear and pants, the lawsuit states.
“Plaintiff screamed at Salvo to cease, and tried to maintain him from eradicating her garments,” however the veteran cheerleader allegedly “groped her chest after which inserted his fingers into her vagina,” the go well with expenses.
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She pushed him away and demanded that he go away. The distraught rookie cheerleader informed a number of teammates concerning the assault and repeatedly tried to report it however was pressured to maintain quiet at each flip, in keeping with the grievance.
A senior crew member reportedly instructed her to “drink it off and get your thoughts off of it” as a result of “that is what Navarro women do – they drink. We do not inform anybody. We simply hold it to ourself.”
“The veterans pointed weapons [at] plaintiff and [her boyfriend] and threatened to kill them for reporting the assault.”
Lane informed her boyfriend, who picked her up from her dorm and reported the alleged assault to police.
As they left campus, senior cheerleaders allegedly adopted them in a automobile. “The veterans pointed weapons [at] plaintiff and [her boyfriend] and threatened to kill them for reporting the assault,” the couple alleges.
Lane referred to as Aldama and tried to inform her what occurred. “Aldama interrupted her, saying, ‘Let’s not make this a giant deal,’” the lawsuit says.
Just a few days later, Lane stop the cheer crew and Aldama allegedly informed her if she stored quiet, “I’ll be sure you can cheer anyplace you need.”
Lane did not buckle to the stress and reported the alleged assault to campus police and the varsity’s Title IX workplace — however they allegedly refused to take an official report or examine.
The go well with additionally names Amico, Director of Athletics Michael Landers and Title IX coordinator Elizabeth Pillans.
The courtroom papers expose the alleged darkish facet of the aggressive cheerleading tradition at Navarro School. “Cheerleaders engaged in excessive partying, drank alcohol excessively, and abused medication,” the grievance says. “Many feminine cheerleaders usually snorted Adderall to encourage weight reduction.”
Lane had maintained the very best GPA on the crew and did not take part within the occasion tradition, her lawyer Mark Lanier wrote within the lawsuit filed within the Northern District of Texas.
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Lane withdrew from the faculty and her “dream of cheering on a nationally ranked crew” was dashed.
Her accusations are the latest for the scandal-scarred crew, which has been coping with allegations of sexual abuse and harassment since 2018.
Most lately, former teammate Jerry Harris, who starred in season one of many Netflix hit, was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2022 for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and receiving and trying to obtain little one pornography.
The crew is the primary junior school cheerleading program within the nation and has gained 15 nationwide championships since 2000.
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Aldama not solely appeared in each seasons of the Netflix documentary however competed within the twenty ninth season of “Dancing with the Stars” and appeared on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Present.”
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Aldama didn’t instantly return a request for remark whereas her expertise agent, Steven Smooke, declined to remark. The varsity additionally didn’t instantly return a request for remark by telephone or e mail.
Amico, who’s listed on the crew’s 2022-2023 roster, couldn’t instantly be reached.