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DA: Cheerleader ‘Forced Splits’ Case Was ‘Difficult Decision’

DA: Cheerleader ‘Forced Splits’ Case Was ‘Difficult Decision’


UNDER ARREST IN WELD COUNTY AN ACCUSED IN ANOTHER ROBBERY ON THE SAME NIGHT. SOME FAMILIES IN DENVER ARE DISAPPOINTED AFTER THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S DECISION NOT TO FILE CHARGES AGAINST A FORMER EAST HIGH CHEER COACH. WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE STORY CLOSELY SINCE THIS VIDEO SURFACED OF A COACH FORCING A YOUNG GIRL INTO THE SPLITS. TODAY, MELISSA GARCIA SPOKE TO DENVER’S DA ABOUT THE DECISION NOT TO FILE CHARGES. Reporter: THIS IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST CALLS SHE HAS EVER HAD TO MAKE. ALTHOUGH SHE DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE USE OF THE CONTROVERSIAL TECHNIQUE THAT WENT ON HERE AT EAST HIGH SCHOOL, SHE SAID THE EVIDENCE DID NOT WARRANT CRIMINAL CHARGES. IN ORDER TO FILE CHARGES OF CHILD ABUSE, PROSECUTORS WOULD HAVE TO PROVE GUILT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. A STANDARD THAT WAS NOT MET IN THE CASE OF THE EAST HIGH COACH RECORDED ON CELL PHONE. SIMPLY BY NOT FILING CRIMINAL CHARGES, IT IS IN NO WAY SAYING I DID NOT BELIEVE THEM OR THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM WAS NOT HORRIBLE. PART OF THE DECISION HANGS ON HER DISCOVERIES THAT IT IS A TECHNIQUE KNOWN AS POWER STRETCHING WAS NOT UNIQUE JUST TO THIS COACH. IT IS A TECHNIQUE THAT IS USED BY COACHES. I AM HOPEFUL THAT THOSE INVOLVED IN THE CHEERLEADING WORLD WILL TAKE THIS TO HEART AND BE MUCH MORE VIGILANT ABOUT SUPERVISING CHEERLEADING COACHES AND ALSO HOPEFULLY MAKING SURE THAT THIS TECHNIQUE IS NEVER USED AGAIN. Reporter: PARENTS OF TWO OF THE CHEERLEADERS INVOLVED SAY THEY DISAGREE WITH THE DAS DECISION. I EXPECTED THEM TO DISAGREE. IT IS VERY EMOTIONAL. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISIONS I HAVE MADE SINCE I’VE BEEN IN THE DAS OFFICE. Reporter: DESPITE THE LACK OF CHARGES, THERE WAS NOT WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES. THREE SCHOOL EMPLOYEES LOST THEIR JOB. BRIAN MAASS SITS DOWN WITH FORMER EAST HIGH PRINCIPAL ANDY MENDEL’S WORK IN AN EMOTIONAL

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