Investigators say several cheerleaders at CCU work as strippers and escorts
School authorities acting on a tip said the squad was engaged in prostitution, purchasing alcohol for minors and paying others to do their homework
Investigations reveal the girls see themselves as ‘sugar babies,’ not prostitutes
Ladies receive up to $1,500 in cash or in gifts – clothes, shoes, designer handbags for accompanying men on dates
Trysts were arranged through a website, ‘Seeking
Interviews of former and current cheerleaders at the school revealed that eleven girls knew of the escort service, compared to seven who did not
School’s entire cheerleading team was suspended indefinitely last week
In the wake of the recent charges of prostitution levelled against some cheerleaders at Coastal Carolina University and the subsequent backlash , investigators say several cheerleaders at CCU worked as strippers and escorts, sometimes receiving up to $1,500 in cash or in gifts like clothes, shoes and designer handbags for accompanying men on dates arranged through a website, according to an open records request.
The university’s entire cheerleading team was suspended indefinitely last week after allegations surfaced members of the squad were involved in a prostitution ring, bought booze for minors and paid others to do their course work.
Details of the college’s ongoing investigation were revealed Thursday following an open records request filed by Deadspin and other local outlets.
One of the tell-tale texts uncovered by investigators
Coastal Carolina University, where members of the school’s cheerleading squad are accused of prostitution, purchasing alcohol for minors and paying others to do their homework, subsequently the entire team was suspended indefinitely pending an investigation, according to a statement from the university. This came after an anonymous was letter sent to university president, Dave DeCenzo, on March 8.
The entire cheerleading squad was suspended last week, by CCU authorities
In the course of the investigation the team was met by campus police outside the HTC Center after practice Wednesday night, individual team members were called out , and took them to CCU’s police station for questioning individually, until 11 p.m. Police also searched through the girl’s cell phones, a team member said.
Late Friday afternoon, the team released a statement via Twitter in which it decried the “false” allegations, pointing out that the allegations were based solely on the word of a single anonymous letter writer.
Three college students, Acacia Jerico Friedman, Maury Noun and Samara Charlotin aged 19-23 arrested for ‘$10,000 pimp and prostitute deal’ at Florida hotel
The team decried the [undue] harassment of members: “The false accusations have led to harassment on campus, as well as through social media, and are beginning to negatively impact our daily lives as well as our studies,” the statement read while seeking the support of the university community.
At this point in time, we no longer wish to be contacted about the current situation. The false accusations have led to harassment on campus as well as through social media, and are beginning to negatively impact our daily lives as well as our studies. As a team we ask the community to support us through these tough times as we hope the situation will be cleared up shortly.
The Coastal Carolina Cheerleading Team
“As a team, we ask the community to support us through these tough times as we hope the situation will be cleared up shortly.”
The investigation however, this week confirmed the cheerleaders were paid between $100 and $1,500 per date. They also received gifts from the men — “sugar daddies,” in the popular parlance — but there is no evidence any of the women had sex for money.
Getting paid to go on a date is not illegal, and the report makes no mention of an ongoing criminal investigation.
“Through interviews conducted with former and current CCU Cheerleaders, my investigation revealed some of the allegations in the letter were true,” wrote Michelyn Pylilo, an investigator for the college’s Department of Public Safety, in reference an anonymous letter sent to the school. “ … The girls did not use their real names and worked through a website called ‘Seeking .’”
It all started when five letters were sent into CCU’s president on March 8 alleging that cheerleaders had been working as escorts, stripping at strip clubs, recruiting younger cheerleaders to join them, shunning and harassing young cheerleaders who didn’t join them, and facilitating the “rampant use of alcohol.”
CCU campus police investigator Michelyn Pylilo looked into the allegations and eventually ruled that “some of the allegations are true.”
One cheerleader said she went on a shopping date and received shoes, clothes and a Michael Kors purse. Another admitting working as a “shot girl” at a strip club in Myrtle Beach and being offered $800 to escort a man to New York Prime steakhouse.
The report filed by college investigators confirms some of the allegations
“My investigation also revealed that as of a few days ago, potential dates from
The investigation also uncovered a group text sent among the cheerleaders on March 28 referencing the ongoing investigation and urging team members to delete the Seeking Arrangement app from their phones. Pylilo interviewed six current cheerleaders that same day, including one who admitted sending a text message encouraging teammates to remove all evidence of the app from their phones.
“It also encouraged those that are working at a strip to quit their job until Nationals so that no one would be dismissed,” Pylilo wrote.
The team is also barred from participating in national events
In a letter sent to CCU President David DeCenzo, a “Concerned Parent” alleged “serious issues” among the university’s cheerleading team, including rampant alcohol use, underage drinking, drug use and the use of fake identification.
The March 8 letter also claimed cheerleaders were working at strip clubs and engaging in prostitution.
“A lot of these issues are and have been overlooked way too long,” the letter read. “There are a lot of students working extremely hard holding down jobs while going to school doing the right thing then you have people cheating and lying there [sic] way to good grades so that they can get drunk and party all the time.”
The university said an investigation into the allegations continues.“The
cheerleading team is still suspended from cheering activities”.
An attorney representing several members of the team said she was “disgusted and angered” by WMBF’s Thursday report of the school’s statements
“I am disgusted and angered that Coastal Carolina University has released an incomplete investigation to the media that paints the women of the Cheerleading Team as prostitutes with the broadest of strokes,” attorney Amy Lawrence told the station in a statement. “This goes to the heart of what is wrong with the University and its inadequate treatment of women, not only in sports but on campus.”
Lawrence said four of the 26 members of CCU’s cheerleading team participated in a legal website, and claimed no evidence exists proving instances of hazing, prostitution, drug use or homework-for-pay, as alleged by a “nameless coward.”
“Would this ever happen to a Male Sports Team? We have all read about male athletes at Coastal Carolina being accused of drugs, domestic violence and rape,” Lawrence’s statement concluded. “Yet, most of those men are still playing the sport and not one team was suspended in retribution for the actual crimes of their teammates.”