Celebrity cheer coach Dominic Frizzle and Tennessee Super Athletics face sexual assault allegation

The competitive cheerleading community was hit with another lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that a Tennessee gym fostered an environment that allowed one of its celebrity trainers to sexually and emotionally abuse at least two teenage athletes for years.

Among them: A 15-year-old boy who told The Daily Beast that the coach had sent him sexually explicit messages, photos and videos for months earlier this year when he was still 14. The sport’s governing body, the All-Star Federation (USASF), over complaints by another athlete, the teen said the messages turned sinister – and included threats that he wanted to “destroy” the first whistleblower.

“It made it seem like a normal thing and it was a good thing,” the boy, who was identified as John Doe 1 in a lawsuit filed in Tennessee federal court, said of the abuse. “It wasn’t fair. I feel like it was happening to several people.”

John Doe 1 is one of two boys in the suit demanding a jury trial. Among the defendants named in the lawsuit are Varsity Spirit and its associated brands and its former founder Jeff Webb. USASF. Cheer USA Charles Bank Capital Partner; Among the Premier Athletics Capital, where teenage boys were allegedly abused, gym manager Susan Traylor, and coach Dominic “Nick” Frizzell.

Frizzell is well known in the glamor world and has previously competed with the nationally popular All-Stars team. Currently, he Cheerleader at the University of Tennessee He has a large following on social media, including 31,000 followers on Instagram and 48,000 on TikTok. (The two accounts were made private on Tuesday morning. The University of Tennessee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Via Facebook / Premier Athletics – Knoxville West

The suit, obtained by The Daily Beast, alleges that Traylor allowed Frizzell to “emotionally, physically and sexually abuse … young Premier athletes.” “The team of Premier Athletics and Defendant Frizzell, along with other gyms and coaches, were empowered and placed in positions of trust and authority by the Varsity Defendants, all while the Varsity Defendants knew or should have known that those same coaches and gyms were It was widely abusing athletes or, the lawsuit added: “Athletes abuse is permitted.”

In a statement to The Daily Beast, USA Cheer CEO Laurie Harris said the allegations were “tragic and we mourn any victims of abuse.” “Sexual abuse and misconduct in all its forms is reprehensible and has no place in sport or society,” Harris added. “USA Cheer will continue to work with the entire cheer community and all relevant agencies to rid it of bad actors and hold those responsible to account.”

Other defendants did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. According to the USA Cheer Disqualification ListFrizzell’s membership with the USASF as a coach and athlete was temporarily suspended “under investigation” because he violated the policy “relating to the protection of athletes.”

For Mary Doe, mother of John Doe 1, who also asked not to be identified, the idea that she was forced to come forward and sue the people who were supposed to educate and protect her son “is crazy.” The lawsuit alleges that Marie Doe was not informed of the allegations made by the top athlete against Frizzell until this month – and that she and her son had not been contacted by the prime minister after they opened an investigation.

“I’m pissed that we had to do this,” Marie Doe said. “I am angry because even to go ahead, to reveal and make sure something happens to the people who totally screwed it up and didn’t protect my son, the situation has to be public. It is a necessary evil that has to happen.”

The lawsuit is just the latest horrific sexual assault scandal to hit the fan community. Earlier this month, The Daily Beast first reported on a damned lawsuit against Scott Foster, the prominent South Carolina cheerleading coach who died by suicide in August. It alleges that he sexually assaulted male and female athletes and presided over a culture that allowed his employees to do the same. His gym, Rockstar Cheer, has since been closed “indefinitely”. Both lawsuits allege that well-known private equity firm Bain Capital profited from the chaos.

The cheerleading community has also been rocked by the 12-year prison sentence for former Netflix star Jerry Harris. Encourage who pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography and sexual offenses against minors, and lawsuits against well-known athletics coach Jason McCartney, accused of “crooked” sexual assaults against an athlete in Texas.

“This lawsuit makes clear that we are not talking about some isolated incidents in South Carolina,” Bakary Sellers of Strom Law Firm, one of the attorneys who filed Tuesday’s lawsuit, said in a statement. “This is a nationwide epidemic of abuse afflicting all the competitive encouragement that has been enabled and hidden by Varsity Spirit, the United States All Star Federation (USASF) and Bain Capital.”

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday directly targets Tennessee’s Premier Athletics Club, which was purchased by Varsity Spirit in 2005. “A gym that encourages dance, dance, and tumbling” is a USASF member gym that prides itself on being “highly trained” and “highly qualified” trainers.

The suit states that in 2018, when he was just 14, John Doe 2 met 19-year-old Frizzle when they were both Premier Athletics athletes. The teen added on Snapchat but it wasn’t until two years later, according to the lawsuit, that Frizzell “finally persuaded prosecutor John Doe 2 to interview, and they began engaging in oral sex and other sexual behavior.”

“When Defendant Frizzell reached the age of 21, he told plaintiff John Doe 2 that he might have trouble having sex with plaintiff John Doe 2,,” the lawsuit said. “However, the behavior continued.”

The lawsuit alleges that PM Athletics knew of an “ongoing sexual affair,” but that no one questioned Frizzel’s “continued interaction” with John Doe 2 or “any other minor athlete.” Instead, Frizzell was hired as a coach.

Around the same time, in 2020, John Doe 1 started cheering in Premier Athletics and became acquainted with Frizzell, who is described in the suit as “fun.” By the end of 2021, Frizzell, who was in his early twenties, was following John Doe 1 on Snapchat — even though he knew John Doe 1 was only 14 years old, according to the lawsuit.

In January 2022, Frizzell began sending “sexually explicit messages and photographs of himself” to John Doe 1, including photos of his penis and videos of him masturbating, the lawsuit alleges. On several occasions, Frizzell has also allegedly asked John Doe 1 for an interview, including once in May when the two engaged in oral sex.

About a month later, the lawsuit states that John Doe 1 learned that a fellow underage athlete was also receiving sexually explicit photos from Frizzell — and that the other teen had told Frizzell to “stop acting in a predatory manner.” (The fellow underage athlete was not included in the suit.)

Soon after John Doe 1 switched to a new gym. The teen told The Daily Beast that despite changing gyms – a decision he said was “the best option” – and despite Frizzell knowing that a sexual misconduct complaint had been made against him, he reached out to John Doe 1.

In one July 2022 letter, he “bragged” that he was “not permanently banned” and that Susan Traylor said she would not fire him, according to the lawsuit, adding that Frizzell sent John Doe 1 “numerous letters threatening the junior athlete” who submitted the initial report.

John Doe 1 told the Daily Beast. Some of the messages included that he “wanted to destroy” the teenager who had reported him. He said he soon found out that some people in the Premier had been interviewed about Frizzell’s misconduct – but neither he nor his mother had been contacted.

“We were never called, we talked about everything,” Marie Doe said. “It is infuriating.”

The lawsuit alleges that Frizzell attempted to contact John Doe 1 in an effort to influence how he responded to questions about their interactions. Earlier this month, the new John Doe 1 gym called Marie Doe to inform her that the Prime Minister Athletics is investigating allegations of abuse by Frizzell and that the allegations include her son.

“It was a complete hiccup,” added Marie Doe, who eventually filed a report with law enforcement. “It’s totally insane to me.”

“Ultimately, the failed internal investigation by Defendant Prime Minister Athletics concluded that there was insufficient evidence to hold Defendant Frizzle accountable,” the lawsuit states, adding that the decision was based, at least in part, on the fact that John Doe 1 had left the gym. sports.

According to the lawsuit, Prime Minister Athletics acknowledged in a September 18 statement on Instagram that an “additional report” had been submitted to law enforcement, but did not provide any information.

For Marie Doe, the recent allegations against Frizzell are symptoms of an ongoing problem in the fan community. She and her son said they hope this lawsuit will lead to Frizzell’s imprisonment and that the prime minister is “responsible for what they did.”

“It’s disgusting,” she said.

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