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Cheerleader coach in forced splits controversial video won't be criminally charged

Posted at 11:08 AM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 11:08:02-04

(KCNC/CNN) – A controversial video shows a cheerleader coach making girls do forced splits as they screamed in agony and begged him to stop. A district attorney announced this weekend that the former coach in the video will not be charged.

The video surfaced back in August, showing eight different East High School cheerleaders crying out in agony and repeatedly asking their coach to stop making them do forced splits.

Students who saw the video were appalled.

“I watched the video and I was like, ‘oh, that’s kind of messed up. She’s screaming and stuff,” said classmate Bobby Danahey.

The videos were the subject of a police investigation until now. District Attorney Beth McCann decided not to file criminal charges against Coach Ozell Williams.

While McCann admits the video is painful, she said in a statement that “the evidence does not support the filing of criminal behavior. The case must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Coach Williams was fired late this summer.

“I think being fired is enough,” Danahey said.

A parent agreed.

“The firing was probably the best that could be done,” said Carolyn Fortino.

The district attorney noted that while this controversial cheerleading technique has no place in local high school sports, it does not warrant a criminal act.

“From my understanding, it can be a common practice,” said Fortino. “Not necessarily that I agree with it, but it was investigated by the police and if they didn’t charge, it’s their responsibility to charge him, so if they’re not charging him then I don’t think he probably did anything criminally.”

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