According to WESH News, a cheerleading coach has been accused of sexually assaulting children at his gym the World Cheer Center located 345 Hatteras Ave, Clermont, FL 34711.
On March 27, 2022, 39-year-old Vigiland D’Haiti was arrested for multiple charges of molestation charges. D'Haiti has been a cheer coach at the gym, home of the Rush Allstars, in addition to many of the gyms and schools within the Orange County Public School district. Since 2005, he worked at Cypress Creek High School as a computer tech teacher and cheer coach.
Officials reported that three victims came forward alleging the abuse dated back to 2013 during an investigation that began in January. The victims claimed that the coach would send inappropriate messages through Snapchat. D'Haiti has posted bond but is facing multiple charges of lewd and lascivious molestation.
Attorney Contributor Michael Haggard, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, has represented a number of sexual assault victims in civil litigation in the state of Florida. During a recent discussion, Michael shared his insight regarding the rights of victims sexually abused by a cheerleading coach.
"Owners of sports facilities and their administrators have a legal obligation to safeguard their students from danger, including sexual abuse. Unfortunately, we've seen coaches and teachers charged with abusing their students across the country. There are far too many recent cases of sexual abuse by predators who take advantage of their positions of trust and power within the sporting fields. Sports facilities and agencies that license them, are required to provide proper security precautions. This may involve conducting background checks and mandating that facilities install security cameras throughout the gym. If proper security measures are not maintained by the organizations, they may be held responsible if sexual abuse takes place."
"Sadly, sex abuse within sporting facilities is often enabled by the negligence of a third party. This could be the licensing agency, a school district, or a gym owner. The victim and their family may have sufficient grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit if these third parties are found to be negligent. For example, if a report was made against a cheer coach for misconduct, yet was ignored rather than reported and the abuse was allowed to happen again, the officials could be deemed liable. Victims of sports-related sexual abuse by a coach are encouraged to seek the legal counsel of an experienced sports-related sexual abuse lawyer to learn more about how they can get justice."