The owner of Action Athletics is now facing child molestation charges and Bellevue Police believe more victims may come forward.
SEATTLE — A Bellevue cheer coach and owner of Action Athletics is now facing child molestation charges after two of his students came forward and claimed he inappropriately touched them.
It is important to distinguish that he is not affiliated with any school and is a cheer coach for competitive cheer teams.
Action Athletics has been in Bellevue for 20 years, training competitive cheer teams.
“Really, these young victims deserve a lot of credit. It takes a lot of courage to come forward,” said Meeghan Black, who is with the Bellevue Police Department.
The owner and head trainer, 50-year-old Brian Antich, is now charged with two counts of child molestation and underage sexual misconduct. The girls were 15 and 16 years old at the time of the alleged incidents.
“What these young victims told us is that this bus took them on trips, one of them out of state, it would take them out to dinner, they would go to different places by themselves,” Black said.
According to the indictment documents, there are photos showing the defendant abusing a victim, touching her eight times during a drill.
“Children and young women should be able to go to school or to a doctor’s office and not have to fear being molested. In general, we often see that children use no doubt when speaking up about traumatic events,” said Casey McNerthney of the King County Attorney’s Office.
In this case, the two girls confided in a trusted adult, who then called the police.
“Given the amount of time and this pattern of behavior, we suspect there are other victims out there,” Black said.
According to the indictment, Antich even told one victim that he was in love with her and wanted to marry her. The victims were afraid to report the molestation of the defendant for fear of being removed from the cheerleading team.
Since Bellevue Police released this information, more than five other victims have come forward who say the trainer abused them.
“We definitely anticipate more charges to come,” Black said.
Bellevue Police are now asking anyone with knowledge to call their tipping hotline at 425-452-7853.
“We want to understand the scope, nature and breadth of this alleged crime,” Black said.
KING 5 has reached out to the Washington State Cheer Coaches Association for comment and is still awaiting comment.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/bellevue-cheer-coach-charged-child-molestation/281-4b37964c-8454-4cf5-a539-a689390812f3 Bellevue cheer coach facing child molestation charges