Erik Kristianson, 44, originally from Antioch, Tennessee was arrested in Fargo, North Dakota after a warrant for his arrest was issued in Orange County. Kristianson is a former competitive cheerleading instructor. He was charged with multiple felony counts of molesting six girls while he was their cheerleading coach.
Allegedly, the former coach molested the young girls while he was working as a coach both at a competitive cheer club and at a high school located in Mission Viejo, CA.
These allegations came to light last year, in 2022, after he was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida, under allegations that he masturbated to three girls during a FaceTime call; the girls were all under 13 years old at the time. In addition, he was accused of touching another girl’s breasts.
In August 2022, he was arrested again in Kansas on a warrant related to the abuse allegations in Florida. He was extradited back to Florida but was able to post the $300,000 bond and leave the state since he was released without any restrictions.
After his arrest in Florida made headlines, a woman from the O.C. contacted the authorities and told them that she was molested by Kristianson when she was only 14 years old, and he was her cheer coach. Allegedly, the abuse went on for two years. The victim claimed that Kristianson would either pick her up from school or practice and then proceed to molest her. He is also accused of molesting five other O.C. girls from 2002 to 2007. Allegedly, he would take the victims to off-campus events or to his home to molest them. The victims’ ages ranged from 11 to 16, according to reports.
Kristianson was a coach from 2002 to 2008 at Magic All-Stars, an O.C. cheerleading academy. In 2005, he was an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School. Allegedly, this is where the abuse of the six girls occurred.
After his arrest in North Dakota, he was extradited to the O.C. where he is being held on a felony warrant at the Theo Lacy Facility. He faces 16 felony child molestation counts in California – for a maximum possible sentence of 105 years to life in prison.
Authorities believe that there may be additional victims who were sexually abused by Kristianson. Victims are urged to contact the authorities.
The child sex abuse experts here at our law firm are investigating this case and are preparing to file a civil lawsuit against Kristianson and the schools and other cheerleading academies involved. If you are interested in exploring the legal options available to you, we recommend that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible. our lawyers are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to fight for your rights and recover the payout that you are owed.
What is Child Sex Abuse?
Child sexual abuse is any sort of sexual contact with a minor – because a minor can never consent to sexual activity. Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term that can include all of the following types of abuse and sexual misconduct towards minors:
- Fondling or groping a child
- Forcing the child to touch the abuser
- Forcing the child to masturbate in front of the abuser
- Masturbating in front of the child
- Showing the child sexually explicit images or videos
- Performing or forcing the child to perform oral sex
- Penetration of any kind
- Rape and attempted rape
Without a doubt, child sex abuse can have lasting effects on victims. Even once physical injuries heal, mental and emotional harm can persist. In fact, victims of child sex abuse are likely to develop post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and panic disorders, for instance. In addition, it is important to note that victims of child sexual abuse are at a higher risk of drug addiction and suicide.
Understanding Why Child Sex Abuse is Common in Schools and Academies for Extracurricular Activities like Cheerleading
Unfortunately, sexual abuse is very common in schools, sports, and extracurriculars. Teachers and coaches are trusted by students and their families. The truth is that they have easy access to children and can abuse them if they choose. Child sex abuse is often associated with the failures of schools and districts and other hiring entities. In other words, child sex abuse can be a reflection of the following:
- Failing to subject prospective employees to thorough background checks
- Failing to subject existing employees to recurring background checks during their time working
- Failing to properly investigate or address reports of abuse from children, their parents, or other staff
- Failing to have a clear zero-tolerance policy
- Failing to have a clear reporting procedure
- Failing to remove staff at the first incident of child sex abuse
- Failing to properly supervise staff
The fact is that schools and other entities that work directly with children (like cheerleading academies and other sports academies/programs) have a duty to keep the children safe from all harm – including from harm caused by their employees.
Can I Sue if I was Sexually Abused as a Child by a Cheerleading Coach?
Yes – you could sue if you were sexually abused as a child by a cheerleading coach. Whether the abuse occurred on the premises of the school or academy – or even at an off-campus event or in the home of the abuser – you could have the right to file a child sex abuse lawsuit. For more information about your right to sue, contact the experts here at our law firm immediately.
Can I Participate in a Class Action Lawsuit? – Yes, you could be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are common in instances where there are many victims harmed in a similar way. In other words, if more victims of the cheerleading coach’s sexual abuse come forward, then a class action lawsuit is likely. For more information regarding whether you could participate in a class action lawsuit, contact us today.
Can I Sue Even If the Abuse Happened Years Ago?
Unfortunately, many people think that they can no longer file a lawsuit if it has been many years since the abuse happened. Under California law, however, victims of child sex abuse have until the age of forty or within five years of discovering the abuse as an adult to file a civil lawsuit. What does this mean? Even if it has been decades since the sexual abuse happened, you could still have the right to file a claim.
Claims against schools and school districts, however, are government claims and are subject to a short six-month deadline, with no exceptions for child sex abuse cases. Still, we urge you to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Based on the details surrounding your specific case, you could still have the right to file your child sex abuse claim at the hands of a cheerleading coach. Contact us today to learn more about the time that you have to sue.
Can I be Compensated?
Yes – you could be entitled to receive compensation for your child sex abuse case at the hands of a cheerleading coach. You could recover compensation for all medical expenses, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and legal fees, for example. If your case was covered up, you could actually be awarded up to three times the damages under California law.
You might also have questions about the average value of child sex abuse cases. In general, child sex abuse cases against schools and other establishments that work directly with children tend to be high value cases. These cases can have values ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. Class action lawsuits can be worth multi-million dollars because of multiple claimants.
So, how long will it take for your case to settle and for you to get the compensation that you are owed? These cases can take a few years to settle. Our team can typically settle child sex abuse cases in under two years. Class action claims, however, can take many years to settle. Here at our firm, we are committed to getting our clients the maximum recovery available within a reasonable length of time.
Contact us today for more information about the compensation that you could be awarded.
The Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
Our child sex abuse lawyers are investigating the Erik Kristianson sex abuse case. If you were a victim of Kristianson, contact the experts here at our law firm immediately. Our team is more than ready to evaluate your claim and help you better understand your right to sue. If you are ready to speak with our child sex abuse lawyers, contact us today. We offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions. Whether you are looking to begin or continue your claim, you can trust that our team is ready to guide you every step of the way. Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee – which ensures that you will never be required to pay any upfront legal costs for our legal services. In addition, our firm works on contingency; therefore, our clients will never be required to pay absolutely anything unless they win their claims. If you do not win, you will not be responsible for paying anything at all.