Champion stick twirler drugged, assaulted on nightmare trip: trial
A teenage twirler, two-time national champion, claims she was drugged and sexually assaulted during a goodwill trip to Peru organized by the United States Twirling Association – which did nothing to prevent the alleged abuse, according to a court case.
The association pledged to set up private security for the six athletes during the September 2019 trip to Lima, where the twirlers were supposed to visit foster homes and elementary schools and take part in a parade, claimed the victim, now 20, in her Brooklyn Federal Court Trial.
Instead, there was no security and the athletes ended up with their “scary” host, a man named Jacobo who ran the local Lions Club, said the victim and his parents, who did not not been publicly identified in court documents.
Jacobo, who contacted the charity about a trip to Peru, allegedly became “smitten” with the then 17-year-old victim and tried to keep her alone throughout the trip, according to the lawsuit.
She told her mother that Jacobo acted “a little scary” towards her, adding, “There were several instances where he just wanted to take me but I refused,” according to the legal filing.
USTA escort Koralea Slagle reportedly stayed away while the girls were kept away each night until 3am and regularly offered only alcohol – no water – to drink.
She even slammed the girls, stating in an email to USTA President Karen Cammer that ‘they thought complaining to the states would cause water to appear,’ the family said in court papers. .
Slagle told the girls’ parents they were “having a great time” and blamed the lack of water on “Peruvian culture”.
During a private event, Slagle reportedly drank champagne while Jacobo told American twirlers to pose for photos with models and strangers. One of the athletes took drinks from the bar “because of extreme thirst”, according to the allegations.
It was then that the bartender served a “special mojito” to the victim, who felt ill after consuming it. She contacted her family, who began making arrangements to bring her home.
Hours later, Jacobo, who had the key to the victim’s hotel room, allegedly assaulted the sick and disoriented girl, she said in court documents. Slagle knew Jacobo had a room key, the victim charged.
The victim was taken to the emergency room when she landed in the United States. She had lost 8% of her body weight, according to the legal claim.
“The events that took place in Peru should not have happened, and it is sad that legal action had to be taken to ensure that the voice of the victim was heard,” said his lawyer, Andrew Goldwasser.
The family is suing the Nassau County-based USTA, Slagle and Cammer for unspecified damages. Slagle, of Kansas, and Cammer, of Long Island, did not return messages.
“USTA takes the welfare of its members seriously. The USTA has not seen the complaint and is not commenting on pending litigation,” spokesperson Ken Frydman told the Post.