Fox 29 has reported that a cheer coach has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting at least two students he coached at Rockstar Cheer, also known as Access Cheer, located at 133 Eayrestown Rd Suite A-D, Southampton Township, NJ 08088.
On March 31, 2023, 25-year-old Jonathan P. Ryker was arrested and charged with sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated criminal sexual contact. The charges are in relation to incidents that occurred while he was a cheerleading coach at Rockstar Cheer in Southampton, Atlantic County.
The investigation into Ryker began in August 2022, when detectives found he had sent explicit content to a minor over social media. While the age of the victims has not been released, it is known they were both minors at the time of the alleged assaults.
Ryker is currently in custody and awaiting trial. Meanwhile, New Jersey State Police are asking that if anyone has experienced similar actions from Ryker, to come forward and contact them.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has been filing civil lawsuits for sex abuse victims in New Jersey for years. Brian recently sat down with us to explain when a victim could sue if sexually assaulted by a cheer coach.
"An athletic program or gymnasium has a legal duty to protect its students from sexual abuse. This includes ensuring the safety of their students by having proper policies and procedures in place to respond to any reports of sexual misconduct. For example, the program should have a clear and effective reporting system for any complaints of sexual misconduct and should ensure that all reports are investigated appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, all staff members should be properly vetted with background checks and active licenses."
"The legal rights of a victim of sexual abuse by a cheer coach should be taken seriously. Victims of sexual abuse have the right to seek legal action, including filing a civil lawsuit for damages. If a student is abused by a coach or staff member, it is important to determine if the gym or athletic program did all they could to prevent the abuse. Negligent officials can be held accountable in a civil suit. Victims and their families should seek more information regarding their legal rights with an experienced sex abuse attorney."