HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) - A former Henrico cheerleading coach accused of sexually abusing five girls over the span of a decade has been found guilty on 11 counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Maurice “Moe” Jerralds, also a former gymnastic and cheerleading coach at USA Gym from 1999-2010,was originally charged with 13 counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and sexual assault. Judge Catherine Hammond dropped one charge on Wednesday and another on Thursday.
Jerralds showed little emotion as he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom. However, five of Jerrald’s victims, holding hands in the second row of the courtroom, sobbed as the verdict was read.
In a surprise move earlier, the defense called Jerralds to the stand to testify. While admitting he socialized with the girls and often bought them presents and showed them affection, he denied any inappropriate relationships.
Jerralds did however, admit to being involved romantically with the oldest victim, a 16-year old, but says he only kissed her twice.
The defense had maintained that the accusations were the result of scheming and jealous girls who were out to get Jerralds because he had broken up with the oldest victim.
In closing arguments, the prosecution summed up more than a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of a charismatic and talented coach, who showered his young victims with lavish gifts and attention, but would turn a cold shoulder when they shunned his advances or requests for nude photos and videos.
Commonwealth’s attorney Amy Turner argued, “There’s no motive for any girl to come here and subject themselves to explain in graphic language what happened to them, unless what happened really happened,” Turner said.
Jerralds waived his right to a jury trial, so a judge decided the verdict and will handle the sentencing on Sept. 12.
To see reaction from the victims’ supporters and Jerrald’s family, click on the video player above.
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