Navarro College and its head cheerleading coach, Monica Aldama, have been named in a lawsuit for allegedly concealing a sexual assault, Us Weekly can confirm.
Navarro student — and a one-time member of Aldama’s squad — Madi Lane claimed in a court filing obtained by Us on Thursday, April 27, that she was sexually assaulted by a teammate during her first semester at the Texas college in 2021.
Lane further alleged that she told Aldama, 51, about the encounter but was urged by the coach to “not make this a big deal.” While Lane ultimately quit the cheer team, she claimed that the Dancing With the Stars alum offered to help her find another team if she kept “quiet” about the alleged misconduct.
According to the court documents, Lane reported her assault to the campus police. She was allegedly told that “this type of thing happens all the time” and “nothing will happen” in regards to her aggressor potentially facing consequences.
Neither Navarro nor Aldama, who has worked for the educational institution for nearly 30 years, have publicly addressed the legal battle. The Full Out author, for her part, has deactivated her Instagram profile.
Navarro’s cheer team was previously at the center of a scandal when former student Jerry Harris was arrested on charges of production of child pornography after an FBI investigation. Harris, now 23, was also accused of soliciting sex from minors while at cheerleading competitions.
The Illinois native initially pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges, including four counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of enticement, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of travel with the intent to engage in an illicit sexual contact with a minor. Harris later changed his plea on two of the counts in February 2022 ahead of his sentencing hearing. The Netflix personality was sentenced in July 2022 to 12 years in prison.
“To my victims, I am sorry for all the trauma my abuse has caused you. I am ashamed as I know that I took advantage of your youth and weakness,” Harris said at the time. “I was wrong and selfish. I caused you harm and I do not blame anyone. I regret my decisions and I am deeply sorry.”
Amid the scandal, Harris did not appear on season 2 of Cheer, which dropped on Netflix in January 2022. However, Aldama and his former teammates did mention the controversy in the docuseries.
“I can’t even wrap my head around how I should feel. This has been a tough year,” Aldama said during the season 2 premiere. “But then there are moments that are so wonderful. These little moments of success that keep you coming back, just the little things that add up. … I keep putting one foot in front of the other, every single day. I don’t have a choice.”
She continued at the time: “I was on the stage at Dancing With the Stars in dress rehearsal for our very first live show [when I found out about Jerry’s arrest]. … I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was already terrified. I did the show and then I went back to my trailer. I didn’t even want to look at my phone because I was scared. I didn’t want to hear anymore because I was in such a vulnerable position at the time with what I was going through, and I just couldn’t take the weight of all it.”
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If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support. If you have experienced sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support.