Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Girl testifies she had sex with cheerleading coach

By DON PLUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 08/16/05
A young girl allegedly molested by former Paulding County cheerleading coach Christopher Scott Borum testified Monday she began an affair with the 23-year-old at his urging and because she was "curious" about sex.
"At first we would just talk and kid and stuff," the girl, who was 14 at the time, said, explaining how she began a yearlong affair with her coach. Soon, she said, Borum began fondling her and pressured her for sex and to pose for provocative photographs.
The girl said she began meeting Borum for late night sexual rendezvous — at an elementary school, behind an area business and at the gym where Borum oversaw competitive cheerleading teams, including the one where she performed.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not identifying the girl or any of the alleged victims of sexual abuse in the case.
Her first sexual encounter, in the parking lot of Arbor Place Elementary School, ended painfully, the girl testified.
"I snuck out of my house about midnight, and Scott picked me up down the street and we went to the school," she said. After parking and climbing into the back seat of Borum's silver BMW, "we tried to have sex, but we stopped."
Asked why they stopped, by Paulding County assistant District Attorney Rusty Knox, the girl said, "It hurt. It was my first time."
Borum, who is on trial in Paulding after being charged in a 23-count indictment, originally was charged with molesting as many as 14 students at the Georgia Cheerleading Academy in Dallas. All charges filed against Borum in Paulding County are felonies.
He also faces charges in Marietta and Cobb County for molesting other young girls he coached at the Southern Cheerleading Academy, on Allgood Road in Marietta. He also faces molestation charges in Douglas County, Knox said.
Cobb authorities said he will be tried there after the current case is completed. Information on the charges against Borum in Douglas County was not available on Monday.
Under cross-examination by Borum's lawyer, Chris Reeves, the girl was vague about when her trysts with Borum occurred and whether he directly requested that she pose for a series of sexually explicit photos she and another female student took in the restroom of the gym.
Borum's grandparents, who sat through Monday's court session, asked afterward that Borum not be judged until the end of what Paulding District Attorney Drew Lane said is expected to be a two-week trial.
"I just ask that people remember Scott is innocent until proven guilty," said Carol Parham. Her husband, Lonnie Parham, said, "He's not a monster. They're in there trying to make him out to be one, but he's not.
Superior Court Judge Tonny S. Beavers on Monday denied requests by the news media to photograph and televise the proceedings.
"Publicity of the witnesses' statements could, I believe, hold the victims up to ridicule by their peers, and I think that their friends would probably be able to recognize them by their voices or some other factors," Beavers said when restricting cameras from the courtroom.
"Also, some of the witnesses are young ladies in their teens, and I can see how publication of their statements by the news media could cause them problems in their schools."

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