Cheerleading coach charged with sex assault

May 6, 2008 3:54:19 PM PDT
A west suburban cheerleading coach is charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl two years ago.Twenty-eight-year-old Bradley Abrahams was free on bond Monday night.

In 2006, he co-owned ICE Athletics Incorporated in Naperville. Prosecutors say he sexually abused the girl several times at the school in March of that year.

Abrahams is charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault.

Parents and athletes arrived for tryouts Tuesday afternoon at the ICE Athletic center. But really most of the people there were aware of the allegations. And it was about a year ago that police made people at the center aware of the allegations.

Last year, they made personnel changes when Naperville police began investigating one of the cheerleading training center's owners. Abrahams began working at home and reportedly had no contact with the children.

"A series of assaults as it turned out allegedly occurred in March of 2006. So there was some delay in the report. Our investigators then investigated the case, determined who the coach was," said Cmdr. Dave Hoffman, Naperville Police Dept. "If someone does find themselves in a similar situation, they've had conduct of this nature from Mr. Abrahams, we would like to have them call us so that we can begin an investigation as well."

Abrahams co-owns the company with Jason Shapiro. On Tuesday afternoon, Shapiro commented on the situation.

"Our main focus is the safety of the athletes and to make sure the families feel like this is a safe and welcome place to be. You know, and that's our main focus and our objective," Shapiro said.

Abrahams is on a $1 million bond. He's due back in court next month.

There were allegations of inappropriate contact by a 17-year old who was not an athlete at the center back in 2004. There was a bench trial on that case. And Abrahams was found not guilty.

A few parents whose kids attend ICE said they strongly support what Shapiro is continuing to do for the children.

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