FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – A popular cheerleading coach was indicted on three counts of sex crimes involving children Thursday. He was arrested in April at DFW International Airport trying to board a flight to France.
The flight came just a day after Frisco police obtained an arrest warrant for Kyle Ware. Police said he used his position as a coach to gain the trust of young athletes, who were all younger than 14.
Police said Ware met his victims while working as a coach at Express Cheer and Dance in Frisco. He was a tumbling and team coach there. Parents at the training facility Tuesday said the girls gravitated toward him. He was popular enough that some followed him when he left to coach at Cheer Athletics in Plano in May 2011.
Cheer Athletics fired Ware though in May 2012, after owners learned about what they called a “communication” possibly involving an athlete. They spoke to the athletes family and to Frisco Police.
Both gyms had done background checks on Ware, but he had no criminal background.
Attorney Todd Shapiro said he first made contact with Ware about a year ago, when it became evident police had started an investigation.
“I can’t say whether he’s taking responsibility or not taking responsibility with what he’s been charged with, but he certainly understands how serious the situation is,” Shapiro said.
Ware was booked on a flight to Paris Tuesday when U.S. Customs agents noticed the warrants out for the 30-year-old man. He is now behind bars at the Collin County Jail with a $100,000 bond for each of his three charges. Each charge is classified as a first-degree felony. If convicted of the current charges, Ware faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
However, authorities are still investigating this case. More charges are possible against Ware if more victims are discovered.
Cheer Athletics released the following statement regarding Ware’s arrest:
“We are aware of the charges that have been brought against Mr. Ware, and we are cooperating fully with the authorities with regard to this matter.
We first became aware of allegations on or about May 6, 2012, at which time we immediately dismissed Mr. Ware from his employment here at Cheer Athletics. We are shocked and saddened that something like this could have been going on in our midst. We are already in communication with families involved to see to it that anyone in need of counseling receives the attention that they need.
Out of respect for the individuals involved and their families – some of which involve minors – we will not provide specific details publicly, but once again will cooperate with the investigation to the fullest extent possible. We will also be communicating with the entire Cheer Athletics family to encourage anyone with knowledge related to the allegations involved to come forward and provide their full cooperation.
Just to be clear, Cheer Athletics runs background checks on all of its employees. The safety and protection of our athletes is of the utmost importance to our organization. As an organization that deals with children of all ages, we are constantly mindful of the trust that parents place in us in dealing with their children, and we will do everything in our power to continue to earn that trust. The background check of Mr. Ware unfortunately failed to turn up any concerns from previous employers. In light of the allegations that have been made, we will be reviewing our policies to ensure that we are doing everything that we can do to prevent the type of conduct that has been alleged to have occurred.”
Christopher Henson, owner of Express Cheer, released the following statement regarding Ware’s arrest:
“After it was brought to my attention by local authorities that allegations of misconduct on the part of Kyle Ware, a previous employee of Express Cheer & Dance, I knew I had a responsibility to protect the well being of our families and anyone affected. Express Cheer & Dance has cooperated with the local authorities throughout the entire process.
Express Cheer & Dance has been a strong member of the Frisco community and the cheer community for ten years: our reputation for quality and training and care for the athletes and their families precedes us. We do screening and background checks on all of our employees at the local , state and national level.
Kyle Ware is not and has not been an employees of Express Cheer & Dance or any of its subsidiaries for nearly two years.
As always the safety of our athletes is of the utmost importance to Express Cheer & Dance and me.”
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