Another child sex abuse lawsuit filed against Texas cheerleading coach

·4 min read
Courtesy: McClatchy Co.

A former family friend and cheerleader filed a sexual abuse lawsuit Thursday in Travis County against former Cheer Athletics coach Jason McCartney, the fourth such lawsuit against the coach since last summer.

Carrie Methvin, a woman who lives in South Texas, filed the lawsuit against McCartney and his mother, Bonnie McCartney, alleging that Jason McCartney abused her when she was a child.

Methvin alleges that she tried to communicate the abuse to McCartney’s mother, who did nothing to stop it and never reported it.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday, Methvin says she and her single mother temporarily lived with the McCartney family. The lawsuit does not state the years that the abuse allegedly occurred but says that McCartney was nine years older than Methvin was at the time and that the abuse began when Methvin was a young girl.

At some point, McCartney asked her to commit a sex act on him, and the abuse escalated from there, according to the lawsuit.

Methvin later participated in cheerleading, and under the guise of helping her practice, McCartney inappropriately touched her, she alleges in the lawsuit.

Methvin is seeking $1 million.

McCartney could not be reached Thursday for comment on the latest lawsuit.

McCartney formerly worked as a coach at Cheer Athletics’ gyms, including in Frisco, Plano and Garland. McCartney later became a co-owner at Cheer Athletics’ Austin gym, according to the suit.

But McCartney is no longer associated with Cheer Athletics, according to a statement released Friday by officials at Cheer Athletics in Plano. The co-owner of Cheer Athletics in Austin bought McCartney’s interest in the facility and he has no access to athletes.

Cheer Athletics is based in Plano, but it has locations in Frisco, Dallas and throughout the country, according to its website.

Cheer Athletics in Plano released this statement Thursday on the lawsuit filed by Methvin: “Mr. McCartney has not been an employee of Cheer Athletics Plano since 2015. Upon his move to Austin, there had been no complaints about Mr. McCartney’s behavior. We were informed by the Austin franchise that they suspended him immediately upon notification of the initial lawsuit in 2021.”

Officials at Cheer Athletics in Austin said Thursday, “He has not had access to the facility and our athletics since he was suspended, and we continue to work diligently with law enforcement.”

After the initial lawsuit was filed in 2021 by twin cheerleading stars from Texas, McCartney adamantly denied any wrongdoing through a statement released by Cheer Athletics.

“It is incredibly difficult to come forward against people who were like family to me, but I can no longer remain silent when I have two daughters looking up to me and other survivors abused by the same person fighting for justice,” Methvin said in a Thursday news release. “My hope is that through this lawsuit, he is removed from any position in which he has access to minors, and he is brought to justice along with every adult who knew about it and failed to act on our behalf.”

The latest lawsuit was filed in Travis County, where McCartney now lives. The lawsuit names McCartney and his mother as defendants.

In July 2021, twin cheerleading stars, who have more than 65,000 fans on social media, filed a lawsuit, alleging they were sexually abused by McCartney, who was their coach at Cheer Athletics gyms in Frisco and Plano.

Hannah and Jessica Gerlacher, 22, said the sexual abuse began when they were 15 as McCartney repeatedly fondled and groped them.

Last month, two sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in Dallas County against Cheer Athletics and McCartney, accusing the coach of abusing two children at a Garland facility and other Cheer Athletics gyms.

Just days ago, a Fort Worth family appeared in the second season of the Netflix docuseries “Cheer” to address sexual assault allegations against season one star Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, who faces criminal charges and a Fort Worth-based lawsuit.

Harris was an athlete with Cheer Athletics, but he was never employed with the organization, according to officials with Cheer Athletics in Plano.

In September 2020, a lawsuit filed in a Tarrant County court detailed allegations against Harris by a Fort Worth family.

According to the suit, Harris asked twin boys to send him sexually explicitly photos and tried to coerce one of them into oral sex at a Fort Worth cheerleading competition in February 2019. The suit says Harris “engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment, exploitation, manipulation, intimidation, and sexual abuse” of the boys. Harris also faces federal charges related to child pornography and sexual abuse, to which he is pleading not guilty.

Officials at Cheer Athletics have denied responsibility for the actions of Harris, according to Fort Worth court documents.