New Child Sexual Abuse and Coverup Lawsuit Filed against Orlando-Area Cheerleading Gym
Lawsuit names Vigiland D’Haiti, who was sentenced to 29 years in prison last week by a federal judge for sex crimes
Suit also names two national governing bodies who operate the multi-billion dollar competitive cheer industry and are accused of prioritizing money over safety
At a sidewalk news conference today attorneys representing a child sexually abused by her competitive cheer coach will announce the filing of a new lawsuit against the Orlando-area cheer gym where she says she was abused.
Attorney Jessica Arbour, a nationally recognized advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse, will announce the filing of a new lawsuit against World Cheer Center, a Clermont, Florida, gym that trained competitive cheerleading athletes, as well as the United States All Star Federation and Varsity Spirit. Arbour and the rest of the team at Horowitz Law in Fort Lauderdale represent survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation exclusively.
According to the lawsuit, Jane K Doe, who is now 17, was sexually abused by Vigiland D’Haiti, a cheer coach who operated World Cheer Center with his wife, Kelly D’Haiti. Last week, a federal judge sentenced D’Haiti to 29 years in prison after he pled guilty to coercing another child athlete into providing him with child sexually abusive material (CSAM). He has also been charged in state court with the molestation of multiple girls, and those charges are still pending.
According to the lawsuit, Jane K Doe began training with the D’Haitis at World Center Gym in about 2015 when she was 10 years old with the goal of becoming a member of gym’s competition team, the Rush All Stars.
The lawsuit alleges that D ’Haiti began sexually abusing Jane K Doe during their one-on-one coaching sessions by touching her in a sexually inappropriate manner on her breasts and buttocks, starting around September 2021. The abuse occurred multiple times until she told her parents, and they removed her from World Cheer Center and alerted police. In March 2022, D‘Haiti was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of Jane K Doe and two other children. In July 2022, and again in August 2022, D’Haiti was criminally charged by the United States for solicitation and possession of child sexually abusive material relating to two teen girls.
It is alleged that the World Cheer Center and the sport’s national governing bodies, the United States All Star Federation (“USASF”), Varsity Spirit, LLC ignored numerous reports that D’Haiti was molesting teenage girls for the last decade, including multiple police reports and two DCFS investigations.
In July 2022, federal prosecutors told a judge that as many as 20 girls had come forward to report they were molested by D’Haiti in the months following his March 2022 arrest.
Jane K Doe issued the following statement “Being manipulated, controlled, and abused by someone that you saw every day and someone that you trusted ruins your mental health. When I reported what Coach Vig did to me, I was shamed and targeted by people I thought were my friends – I was even told to go kill myself. My goal in this case is to create a safer environment in the cheer community and overall improve requirements for the USASF.”
Jane K Doe’s attorney Jessica Arbour said, “The allegations in the Complaint lay out a systemic failure by institutions who should be focused on keeping kids safe, but who instead made their priority their reputations and their bank accounts. All these defendants share responsibility for the sexual abuse of this brave child, who had the strength to tell her truth and blow the whistle to protect other kids – a role that never would have been hers if the adults responsible for her safety had done what they were supposed to do. Today, she is holding them all accountable in the name of protecting the other kids who are still involved in All Star Cheerleading.”
Jane K Doe is now 17 years old. She and her family continue to reside in the Clermont area. Shortly after her husband’s arrest on the molestation charges, Kelly D’Haiti announced on Facebook that she was closing the Clermont gym but said she would continue to be active in the All-Star Cheer community as a judge.
Jane K Doe v. World Cheer Center, LLC, et al. is now pending in Lake County Circuit Court. Copies of the Complaint will be available at the news conference, along with photos of Jane K Doe and Vigiland D’Haiti and statements from Jane K Doe and her parents.
TODAY – 1:30pm Eastern
Outside the Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse in Orlando, Florida (at the corner of Division and Central)
The news conference will also be livestreamed on Arbour’s Tik Tok, @jessicaarbour.
Adam Horowitz, Esq. 954 641 2100 (o), [email protected]
Jessica Arbour, Esq. 305 318 5444 (C), [email protected]