UPDATE, October 18: Varsity Brands responded to our request for comment regarding the lawsuit saying:
“First and foremost, our concern is for the survivors and their families. Children should be protected and safe at all times, and no child should ever be exposed to the kind of abhorrent behavior and abuse alleged in the complaints. We are outraged that predators took advantage of cheerleading programs to abuse innocent children. We reject any accusation that Varsity Spirit enabled such unthinkable behavior. We are committed to supporting survivors and their pursuit of justice against those individuals responsible. Alongside all those who love cheer as much as we do, we will keep listening, learning, and championing safety and security to best protect children in this sport.“
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against a Memphis-based company and now a lawsuit has been filed against a head cheer coach.
Tuesday, at U.S. District Court in Greenville, South Carolina, a federal lawsuit was filed naming Pinnacle Cheer’s head coach, Jarred Carruba, as one of three new defendants in an ongoing sex abuse lawsuit with Memphis connections.
Carruba faces accusations dating back to when he worked for Rockstar Cheer and Dance in South Carolina. Lawyers with Strom Law firm filed new lawsuits against Varsity Spirit of Memphis on behalf of three additional sex abuse survivors.
This follows their filings in Memphis back in September.
“This is the age-old adage of people putting profit over people. They allowed young people to be abused,” said Bakari Sellers with Strom Law Firm.
“There is a culture of over-sexualization of cheer. There’s a culture of placing adults with children, drugs, and alcohol,” said Alexandra Benevento with Strom Law Firm.
The lawsuit names Carruba in several lawsuits against Varsity Spirit, Rockstar Cheer and Dance, U.S. All-Star Federation, and Bain Capital.
The suit reads, “Defendant Jared Carruba, on several occasions, sent sexually explicit messages and photos via Snapchat to Plaintiff John Doe 3, who was 15 years old at the time.”
Varsity Spirit is accused of having an illegal monopoly in the world of competitive cheer and violating the protection of young victims of sexual abuse.
“We are seeking to bring justice and accountability to these companies and those who have done harm or wish to do harm to these innocent children,” Rep. John Ray Clemmons said.
WREG also reached out to Pinnacle Cheer for a comment about the lawsuits, but so far, we haven’t heard back from them.