A young two-time national twirler alleges she was drugged and sexually assaulted during a trip to Peru organized by the United States Twirling Association – which a lawsuit says did nothing to prevent the alleged abuse.
The federation promised to provide private security for the six athletes during the September 2019 trip to Lima, where the whirlwinds were scheduled to visit nursing homes and elementary schools and participate in a parade, the victim, now 20, claimed in her Brooklyn federal court suit .
Instead, there was no security at all, and the athletes stayed with their “creepy” host, a man named Jacobo, who ran the local Lions club, the victim and her parents, who were not publicly named in the court filings, said.
Jacobo, who got in touch with the club about a trip to Peru, is said to have “fallen in love” with the then 17-year-old victim and tried to get her alone throughout the trip, according to the lawsuit.
She told her mother Jacobo was acting “kind of creepy” towards her, adding, “There were several instances where he just wanted to take me with him, but I refused,” the court filing says.
USTA warden Koralea Slagle reportedly stood by while the girls were out until 3 a.m. each night, regularly offering only liquor — no water — to drink.
She even criticized the girls, snipping in an email to USTA President Karen Cammer that “they thought a complaint to the states would make water appear,” the family claimed in court filings.
Slagle told the girls’ parents they were “having a good time” and blamed “Peruvian culture” for the lack of water.
During a private event, Slagle reportedly sipped champagne while Jacobo told the American Twirlers to pose for photos with models and strangers. According to the allegations, one of the athletes got drinks from the bar “because of extreme thirst”.
The bartender then served a “special mojito” to the victim, who became nauseous after drinking it. She contacted her family, who began making arrangements to bring her home.
Hours later, Jacobo, who had a 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 complained.
The victim was taken to an emergency room when she landed in the US. According to the legal claim, she had lost 8% of her body weight.
“The events that took place in Peru should not have happened and it is sad that a lawsuit had to be filed so that the victim’s voice could be heard,” said her attorney, Andrew Goldwasser.
The family is suing 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. USTA has not seen the complaint and is not commenting on pending litigation,” spokesman Ken Frydman told The Post.
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