Another sex scandal for the Netflix hit Cheer. Two cheerleaders with ties to the show. have been arrested on sex offense charges this week.
Robert Joseph Scianna Jr. briefly made an appearance on Netflix’s Cheer. The 25-year-old coach and choreographer appeared in the fourth episode of the show with Gabi Butler when they were at a photoshoot for Rebel Atlantic.
Scianna was arrested in Virginia on Wednesday, February 3, and charged with felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and using an electronic communication device to solicit sex, according to the Chesterfield County Police Department. According to police, he allegedly arranged to meet a minor he met on social media for sex.
"He likely has a lot of possible contact with juveniles, with underage kids," CCPD Sergeant Winfred Lewis told USA Today. "Hopefully if there are any more victims out there that for whatever reason, maybe because of his stature, didn't want to come forward, that they reach out to the police department so we can investigate further."
Scianna is reported to be held without bail at the Chesterfield County Jail. Neither Scianna or Netflix have commented publicly on the matter.
In a separate incident, cheerleader Mitchell Ryan was arrested in Texas on Thursday, February 4, on a charge of felony aggravated sexual assault of a child, according to jail records obtained by PEOPLE. The 23-year-old posted his $50,000 bond and was released on Friday. Although he was on the Navarro College cheer team that was featured on Cheer, Ryan did not appear on the show.
According to USA Today, Ryan’s arrest was in connection to an incident that allegedly occurred in July 2020.
"This has been a nightmare for Mitch and his family," Ryan's lawyer told the outlet. "We look forward to Dallas County hearing the truth and this case being over."
"Mitch and his family were surprised at his arrest. There are two sides to every story and we are confident Mitch's name will be cleared," Ryan’s attorney Jeremy Rosenthal told PEOPLE.
Scianna has reportedly been suspended from the U.S. All Star Federation of gymnastics, but Ryan has not been.
"When USASF received a complaint in late October against Mr. Ryan, we immediately ensured that it had been reported to law enforcement and later began an investigation of our own, which was ongoing when he was arrested," USASF told USA Today.
Since its January 2020 debut, Cheer has been hit with scandal. Breakout star Jerry Harris was arrested in September 2020 on a federal charge for allegedly producing child pornography and was then hit with an additional seven charges of alleged sex crimes and child pornography, including four counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of receiving child pornography, one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor and one count of enticement.
"Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process," Netflix stated in December.
The 21-year-old pleaded not guilty to the seven charges, but is also being sued by two brothers who are underage. They allege that Harris sexually abused them and demanded nude photographs. They met Harris in 2018 when they were 13, and their suit alleges that Harris used his fame in the cheerleading community to groom the boys.
"We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed," a spokesperson for Harris said in September.