In a lawsuit filed by a female cheerleader, the anonymous athlete alleges that Navarro College cheerleading coach Monica Aldama discouraged her from reporting the crime.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas, Texas, the victim was assaulted by another member of the squad during her first semester at Navarro. Although she wanted to press charges against the perpetrator, the coach, other cheerleaders, campus police, and the school’s Title IX, encouraged her to stay silent. In addition, the coach supposedly agreed to help the plaintiff if she never reported the assault.
In September of 2021, the plaintiff claims a roommate invited over various male cheerleaders. She alleges that while she was sleeping, one of the men assaulted her while she was trying to sleep.
After confiding in her team about what happened, another older cheerleader reportedly told her to indulge in alcohol consumption in order to cope. The older cheerleader supposedly said: “You just need to drink it off and get your mind off of it… that’s what Navarro girls do— they drink. We don’t tell anyone. We just keep it to ourselves.”
Additionally, the plaintiff recalled telling Aldama about the incident. Rather than telling her to file a report with the police, Aldama reportedly told her “If you keep quiet, I’ll make sure you can cheer anywhere you want.”
Monica Aldama denies any allegations of wrongdoing
Since these claims were made public, Aldama shared a statement with PEOPLE Magazine in which she denies ever covering up the assault of one of her cheerleaders.
“I am heartbroken by the false allegations made against me,” she said in a statement. “… I would never remain silent, or ask any student to remain silent if I were aware that any sexual misconduct occurred in the Cheer program.”
This is also not the first case of sexual assault to go against Navarro’s cheerleading squad. In fact, Jerry Harris was arrested in July 2022 on a federal charge for allegedly producing, requesting, and using child pornography and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
In February 2021, two male cheerleaders were arrested for sexual offenses. Robert Joseph Scianna Jr. pled guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child and use of an electronic communication device to solicit sex. And, Mitchell Ryan was charged with felony aggravated sexual assault of a child, but was never indicted by a grand jury.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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