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Entries in Cheerleader (10)

Saturday
Aug032013

Ariz. Cardinals Cheerleader Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Boyfriend

Arizona Cardinals | Scottsdale Police Department - Obtained by ABC News(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- An Iraq War veteran turned NFL cheerleader was arrested for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend, who captured the incident on his cell phone.

Megan Welter, 29, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seen on cell phone video obtained by ABC News angrily questioning her boyfriend about text messages between him and a female friend.

"Who is she!" Welter is heard screaming in the footage as her boyfriend, who has not been identified, tries to calm her down.

Police were called to the couple's home after Welter placed a 911 call and accused her boyfriend of attacking her.

"He smashed my head into tile," she is heard saying on the recording.

Video footage released by the Scottsdale Police Department that was shot at the scene of the alleged domestic dispute shows Welter pleading with officers to get her boyfriend out of the home.

But it was Welter who ended up being taken into custody on July 20 after her boyfriend countered with his side of the story. "I was asking her to stop, I was trying to leave, she was pulling out my hair, she was scratching me, she was punching me in my face and I have everything on tape," her boyfriend said.

Authorities said both parties admit to drinking heavily on the night of the argument. Welter was reportedly so drunk she could not say what had happened.

Welter has cheered for the Arizona Cardinals for two years, according to the team's website. But she's recently made headlines for her service in the Iraq War, where she spent 16 months.

"Our country has given us so many freedoms and to be a part of fighting for that and maintaining that, it means a lot," she told ABC's Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV.

Welter's boyfriend told ABC's Good Morning America that he hopes the incident "doesn't take away from the good things she's done for the NFL and for her country."

"I want people to know that she's a wonderful, beautiful woman who had a momentary lapse of judgment," he said.

A representative for the Arizona Cardinals did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May082013

Cheerleader Called 'Chunky' Says Critic Should Be Ashamed

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OAKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- An Oklahoma City Thunder cheerleader has some strong words for the female blogger who criticized her figure and posted a poll asking readers to decide if she was "too chunky" to cheer.

"Shame on you. I mean you are a woman … you know exactly what we all go through on a daily basis just being a woman," Kelsey Williams said. "Shame on you."

Speaking to ABC News' Bianna Golodryga on Good Morning America Wednesday, Williams said her "heart sank" when she read what the CBS Houston sports blogger, writing under the name "Claire Crawford," wrote on April 22 after seeing her cheer at a first-round NBA playoffs game between the Thunder and the Houston Rockets.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the blogger's name was a pseudonym for Anna-Megan Raley, who once blogged for the paper and posted a video of her audition to be a Houston Dynamo soccer team cheerleader.

"The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1, but some say they weren't the only bad-looking people on the court," Crawford wrote on Houston's SportsRadio 610, also noting that Oklahoma City fans had criticized Williams for "having 'pudginess' around her waistline."

Crawford conceded Williams was a "pretty blonde" and concluded her post by writing, "We think she's beautiful," but her blog drew criticism nonetheless. The six-paragraph article also included a poll asking readers if "this chick is 'too chunky' to be a cheerleader."

Voters could choose that Williams either had "the perfect look to be an NBA cheerleader," "she could use some tightening up in her midsection," or, "she has no business wearing that outfit in front of people."

Williams said she wears a size 4. She also told Golodryga that she eats right and works out three to four hours daily to meet the requirements for being a professional cheerleader, but she added that she embraces her body.

"I have always had more of an athletic build, different than the slender ballerina that some people may think of as a dancer, and that's just not me," she said.

The cheerleader said the episode was hard for her family. Williams started to cry when she recalled the effect on her husband and father.

"They are just equally upset," she said. "They think I am beautiful and they love me, so I think they were hurt too."

Williams said she is grateful for the overwhelming support she has received from her family, friends, fans, and from strangers online.

"I have so much love in me," she said. "Sending hate her way would do nothing … what's done is done. I'm just going to keep my chin up."

After the blog was published, Williams took to Twitter to politely fire back at Crawford.

"To be womanly always, discouraged never," she wrote.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Penn State Cheerleader Critical After Fall

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) -- The Penn State community is rallying around a cheerleader who suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling five stories from an apartment building.

Paige Raque, 19, fell 39 feet out of the window of an off-campus apartment building on Saturday, State College police said.

The fall appears to be accidental, authorities said, but they are investigating.

Raque’s family is taking her recovery day by day, said Randy Jepson, the Penn State men’s gymnastics coach and family spokesperson.

“[On Tuesday] she had a busy day with some movement and could open her eyes,” he said. “Today she was much more sedate. The doctor said she’s resting today.”

Jepson said he couldn’t “speculate on the details” of how Raque fell.

Raque, who is from Louisville, Ky., attends Penn State University with her older brother, Parker, who is captain of the men’s gymnastics team.

“I just know that God is going to heal my sister/bestfriend in due time,” Parker tweeted. “He loves his children and is the almighty healer, she’s in Gods hands.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, Penn State football head coach Bill O’Brien said he planned to call the Raque family.

“My heart goes out to Paige and her family and I feel terrible about that,” O’Brien said. “When I get back over there I’ll make some calls and make sure that their family understands.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct052012

Florida Cheerleader Coach Fired for Alleged Pay-to-Play Scheme

ABC News(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- Parents at a high school in Parkland, Fla., have accused an embattled substitute teacher and former cheerleader coach of implementing a pay-to-play scheme that cost them thousands of dollars, which the woman denies.

In a complex tangle of allegations that began last year, the parents of several cheerleaders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School say Melissa Prochila not only bullied their daughters but masterminded a pay-to-play system in which a child's spot on the team came at a price.

"[I] feel like my whole world is shattering," Prochila told ABC News.

Parents said she told them that if they didn't pay full dues -- more than $1,000 -- their children could not participate with the squad.  When parents asked questions, she allegedly intimidated them.  Prochila has also been accused of name-calling, threatening to kick the kids off the team or demote them.

Joanne Gavin, a parent of one of the cheerleaders at the Broward County school, says there was no accounting for the $9,000 in cash that was supposedly meant for external coaches and out-of-town trips for the squad.

"I'd like to know where the money is," Gavin said.  "I'd like to have a booster club meeting.  What are we paying for? What do we continue to pay for?"

The mothers showed ABC News stacks of checks paid out in the thousands of dollars for the outside coaches.  But the parents were never notified or consulted about out-of-county trips.  Their kids say they were encouraged to sign release forms for their parents.

The school board wouldn't say whether the police are involved, and Prochila says the accusations are untrue.

"I'm not a bully coach," she said.  "The money is easy to prove.  There are receipts for everything.  That's the easiest part.  They can say a number; we can show you every receipt for everything.  That's the easy part of this."

Gavin has proven tougher, persistently bringing the allegations to the attention of the school until Prochila was eventually banned.  But dozens of students and cheerleaders tearfully fought Tuesday for Prochila's reinstatement as cheerleader coach at a school board hearing.  She had been cleared by two school board investigations, but was fired as coach anyway.

Prochila says that she does not know what she could have possibly done to make some parents so angry.

"I don't know," she said.  "I lose sleep over that every night."

The school district cited the board's hearing as the reason she was fired as a full-time substitute teacher and coach, although she has been allowed to remain in her teaching role.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct042012

Texas Cheerleaders Fight Back over Bible Verses

ABC News(KOUNTZE, Texas) -- Cheerleaders in a small East Texas town that worships two things -- God and football -- are now fighting back after the Bible verses they painted on banners to display at games were banned.

The cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, just north of Beaumont, Texas, would show their support for the team, and also display their religious beliefs, by painting Bible verses on the banners players run through before every game.

"We just wanted to encourage the boys," one cheerleader said.

The banners apparently offended someone, though, and that unidentified person complained to an atheist group, which argued that the Bible banners amount to a public school's advocating a particular religion, which is unconstitutional.

"This is not a Christian school and they cannot misuse their authority," Annie-Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.

Ultimately, school superintendent Kevin Weldon forced the cheerleaders to stop using scripture on the banners.  That was when the squad members put down their pompoms and picked up the phone, calling attorney David Starnes, who argues that the banners are not school sponsored.

"It was student led...student initiated," Starnes said.

The girls came up with the idea by looking at the social networking website Pinterest, where they saw that cheerleaders in Georgia had done the same thing with their banners a few years ago. Those were banned by their school, too.

The community is now cheering for the cheerleaders, with signs of support and online.  A Facebook page dedicated to their fight now has nearly 50,000 followers, which is 25 times more people than live in the town of about 2,000.

Kieara Moffett, a cheerleader at Kountze High School, said that the she believes this is about freedom of expression.

"They have the right to say whatever they want," she said. "But it's our religion and we want to portray that."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul312012

Former NFL Cheerleader Denies She Is the 'Female Sandusky'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader accused of sex abuse is firing back at her critics and the rumors about her personal life, despite a request by prosecutors for a gag order in the case.

Sarah Jones, a one-time captain of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleading squad and a former high school teacher in Kenton County, Ky., is accused of sexually abusing a student and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities.

"I read on a blog that I was the female [Jerry] Sandusky.  To read those things and not be able to comment, not be able to stick up for myself is not fair," said Jones in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

"People don't know the real me.  There's blogs and postings out there that I have slept with numerous people.  I married my high school sweetheart," she said.  "I just asked the general public to maybe hold their judgment a little bit longer until the truth comes out."

Prosecutors asked a judge for a gag order on Monday to stop Jones from talking after she went on her lawyer's radio show earlier this month to comment on the charges against her.  Jones' lawyer, Eric Deters, filed a motion to dismiss all charges because of a lack of evidence.

"They have no evidence that sexual relations of any type took place in any of the 50 United States of America," Deters told ABC News affiliate WCPO-TV.

The judge said she would review the motions and make a decision in the coming days.

"We won't be sending out motions, we won't be going on radio shows.  You will be hearing our arguments about the evidence in court," said Leland Hulbert, spokesman for the Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case.

Last November, the then 26-year-old teacher at Dixie Heights High School was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.  Jones' mother, Cheryl Jones -- a middle school principal in the same school district -- is accused of tampering with evidence in connection with her daughter's case.  Sarah Jones resigned from her position in November 2011.

Both mother and daughter pleaded not guilty in April at their arraignment.  The two were joined by dozens of supporters including the family of the alleged victim, whose name has not been released due to his age.

"The hardest thing has been having not only me go through it, but to have my mom go through it with me," said Sarah Jones.  "It's almost kind of a guilty feeling that she is even involved in this because what has happened to her is not fair.  My goal is for her charges to be dismissed."

Jones' lawyer is also demanding the prosecution be sanctioned for saying in court that Jones allegedly sent a text to the victim saying "deny everything."  The prosecution described other texts with the victim as "steamy."

"I think people are taking this whole student-teacher thing… Yes, he was a student but he was not my student," said Jones.  "He was a family friend and I am very close to his parents.  Had it not been for their support it would be very difficult to get through this without them."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar302012

Cincinnati Ben-Gals Cheerleader and Former Teacher Charged for Alleged Affair with Student

ABC News(EDGEWOOD, Ky.) -- Kentucky police are calling a personal foul against a high school teacher who moonlighted as a Cincinnati Ben-Gal. Her offense: having sex with an underage student.

Sarah Jones, 26, was indicted Thursday on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited acts. Police say the charges stem from an investigation that began in November at Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Ky.

"We were made aware of allegations of inappropriate relations between a teacher and an underage student at the school," said Edgewood Police Chief Anthony Kramer. "We have been conducting an investigation since that time."

Jones, a former freshman English teacher at the high school and current cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, stepped down from her position at the school in November after the investigation began, citing "personal reasons."

The grand jury also handed down a federal charge against Jones' mother, Cheryl Jones, for allegedly tampering with physical evidence in her daughter's case. Both Jones and her mother refused to comment, but Tim Jones, Cheryl's husband and Sarah's father, said the family was shocked by the charges against his wife.

"This just happened yesterday, so there has been no time for us to prepare," Tim Jones said. "We don't even know what [Cheryl's] charges consist of, so it's impossible for us to comment." Tim Jones said the family had no comment on the charges his daughter is facing.

Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, superintendent for the Kenton County School District, said Cheryl Jones, principal at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence, Ky., was placed on administrative leave after Thursday's indictment. She said the central office is cooperating with police, but are not conducting a separate, internal investigation.

"We were notified in November about the allegation against Miss Jones, but were surprised by the charge against her mother," Cox-Cruey said. "As teachers, there is a certain code of ethics, and it is very uncommon for teachers to break that standard. We will have to wait to see how the details of the investigation unfold before I can comment on what her position will be with the school."

But this isn't Sarah Jones's first appearance in a Kentucky courtroom. In 2010, Jones sued TheDirty.com for defamation of character after a photo of her and former Bengals kicker Shayne Graham appeared on the gossip website, along with comments that Jones had a sexually transmitted disease and had had sex in her classroom. Jones said she emailed the site multiple times, pleading with them to take down the photo.

"To stand in front of 30 15-year-olds and tell them you don't have STDs and that you are not a slut is the hardest thing you will ever have to do," she told ABC News' Chris Cuomo in a 20/20 interview.

A federal judge in Kentucky awarded Jones an $11 million default judgment for defamation in the case, but litigation is scheduled to continue June 4 in Covington, Ky.

An arraignment for both Sarah and Cheryl Jones is scheduled for Monday. If convicted, the women could spend at least five years in prison for each charge.

A representative from the Bengals organization could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct022011

High School Cheerleader Dies After Collapsing During Football Game

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A high school cheerleader collapsed during a football game and died hours later at a hospital Friday night in Los Angeles.

Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old sophomore at South Los Angeles’ George Washington Preparatory High School, collapsed on the field at Fremont High School at about 9:10 p.m.

Gettis was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead around midnight. Officials said she apparently suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, but her family said she had no known medical problems. An autopsy is scheduled.

Washington High principal Todd Ullah said crisis counselors will be at the school Monday to help students cope with Gettis’ death.

“Washington High School, like every other high school, has its share of unfortunate incidents regarding youth – and uh, we, we uh, we prepare for that, but you can never really prepare,” Ullah said, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

“It’s devastating, it’s tragic,” Ullah added.

“I just want people to remember the heart she had. She was very kind,” Angela Kirkindoff, Gettis’ aunt, told KABC-TV.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Money Raised for Cheerleader Who Refused to Cheer Alleged Attacker

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(SILSBEE, Texas) -- Online protests are raising awareness and money for a former Texas high school cheerleader who said she was sexually assaulted by the school's star basketball player and then kicked off her squad for refusing to cheer for him.

The former cheerleader, who is only referred to as H.S. in court documents, claimed she was raped by Rakheem Bolton under a pool table during an October 2008 party while she was drunk.  Bolton and two others were arrested after the party.  Bolton eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault.  Charges were dropped against the two others.

H.S., who was 16 at the time of the attack, was suspended from the Silsbee High School cheerleading squad for two weeks for refusing to cheer.  Now, the 19-year-old and her family owe nearly $40,000 in fees after losing a lawsuit against the school district over her punishment.

But an online petition has gathered more than 95,000 signatures urging the school superintendent to waive the fees.

"The school district must not force a student victim to pay them over $35,000 for simply standing against making a survivor applaud her rapist," said Alex DiBranco, women's rights editor at Change.org, the website that created the petition.  "[She] and her family deserve whatever justice they can receive at this late date, but in particular, they want to make certain that no other teenage assault survivor will face the same treatment at the hands of Silsbee High School."

In addition to the petition, fundraising efforts through Facebook, Twitter and other online campaigns have collected more than $23,000 to put towards the woman's fees.

H.S. accused Silsbee High School, the school district and several school officials of being insensitive after her sexual assault -- especially after Bolton and the others investigated in connection with the attack returned to school.  She said she was told to stay clear of the boys and to avoid the cafeteria where she was the subject of taunting chants by other students.

"It frustrates me," H.S. said. "All I've wanted out of this all along is for somebody to say they've done wrong." She said, however, that the fight is worth it, if only to give other rape victims a reason to stand up for themselves.

Richard Bain, superintendent for the Sillsbee Independent School District, declined to comment on the controversy.  But Tanner Hunt, the attorney representing the school district, said the teen's punishment at the time was fair.

"At the time she refused to cheer for the boy, he had been 'no billed' by the grand jury," said Hunt, referring to the previous grand jury's ruling that there wasn't significant evidence to warrant an indictment.  "At that point, insofar as anyone knew, he wasn't a rapist."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Missing 13-Year-Old Cheerleader 'Scared' of Mom's Boyfriend

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(COLORADO CITY, Texas) -- Hailey Dunn, the Texas girl missing for nearly three weeks, was scared of her mother's boyfriend Shawn Adkins and said he would stand in the doorway of her bedroom at night watching her.

"Hailey did not like him. She was afraid of him and she didn't want him there," Hailey's paternal grandmother, Connie Jones, told ABC News Thursday.

Adkins, 25, was called one of several persons of interest on Wednesday by investigators in Colorado City, Texas. He was the live-in boyfriend of her mother, Billie Dunn. The couple is reportedly no longer together in the aftermath of Hailey's disappearance.

Adkins was the last person to see the 13-year-old cheerleader on December 27, 2010. Dunn, 33, reported her daughter's disappearance the next day.

Hailey's grandmother said she prays that Dunn was not involved in Hailey's disappearance.

City Manager Peter Kampfer said that investigators have received over 250 leads.

"The law enforcement task group is pursuing all leads. They are aggressively focusing on the criminal aspect of this investigation at this time," Kampfer said.

Kampfer would not comment on whether Hailey's mother is a person of interest or still under investigation.

Adkins' car, a white Chevrolet Lumina, and cell phone have been seized. The mother's cell phone has also been seized and her home has been searched.

Records show that police were called to Dunn's home in February of last year after Adkins threatened to hurt Billie and Hailey Dunn.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio