Law enforcement officials detail a sordid scandal of sex, lies, alcohol, and betrayal at the Ware Shoals High School. 28-year-old Jill Moore, the high school cheerleading coach and a married mother, allegedly gave alcohol to minors, had a sexual affair with a student, and enticed the participation of one of her cheerleaders in yet another affair she was allegedly having with a National Guardsman.
According to the official report, Moore would remove the cheerleader in question from class in the middle of the day so that the two could go to a local motel, where the cheerleader would engage in sex with a National Guardsman and then watch as Moore engaged in sex with yet another National Guardsman. The S.C. National Guard has stated that the two Guardsmen in question have been suspended from duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
It should be mentioned that according to S.C. law, the 16-year-old cheerleader is of legal age to engage in consensual sex, and therefore, the Guardsman in question will not be charged with rape.
The plot of this story has a curious twist, however. Ware Shoals High School principal Jane Blackwell has been arrested for obstruction of justice. Blackwell allegedly covered up the activities of Moore, and a diary that law enforcement officers seized indicated that Blackwell knew of the affair between Moore and the student in December, the result of her own investigation of Moore.
Law enforcement officials claim that Blackwell allegedly directed the cheerleading squad not to speak to anyone about the case, and hence, the obstruction charge. This is where the facts become fuzzy, however. Apparently some of the cheerleaders took the principal's directive to mean that they were not to talk even to law enforcement officials. Blackwell's attorney, however, states that Blackwell's intent was to silence rumor on campus, pending the outcome of the legal investigation, and that she never intended for them not to speak to law officers about the case.
Within the official documents made public by the Greenwood County Sheriff's Department today, Moore admits that she sometimes took two or three cheerleaders out for drinks and cigarettes after football games. At this point, however, Moore, through her attorney, is denying any affair or getting one of her cheerleaders involved in sexual liaisons.
Needless to say, this news has sent this small South Carolina community into a dizzying spin. Never before in the history of the town has a scandal of this magnitude rocked its soul to its very core. Residents here find the allegations very hard to believe. Yet, upon reading the Sheriff's report, a few are already changing their minds.
Admittedly, the information contained in the report is scandalous and shocking. And if it is true, it will be yet another sad chapter to the rampant and widespread scourge of female teacher-male student liaisons, except this one takes it all a step further. This scandal involves midday rendevous at local motels and a female student joining the coach in her afternoon romps.
A word of caution is in order here, however. As we have witnessed with the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, cases like this MUST not be tried in the court of public opinion. In America, the accused is still considered innocent until proven guilty. That goes for the cheerleading coach, the school principal, the two students involved, and the two National Guardsmen. These persons MUST have their day in court, and only in a court of law can a verdict be rendered.
It would be a shame and a travesty of American justice if Ware Shoals allows itself to descend into a lynch-mob mentality based upon allegations in a sheriff's report. Until these allegations are proven in a court of law, they are simply allegations. As despicable as these charges are to the decency that still exists among most Americans, we also must remember that our system of justice is based upon a fair hearing in court.
The accused in this case must not be found guilty by the public before their day in court begins.
Click here for the pdf file of the Sheriff's report: