In a shocking turn of events, William Austin Aldama, the son of Monica Aldama, the renowned cheerleading coach featured in the popular Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” has been indicted on multiple charges related to child pornography. The 27-year-old from Dallas was arrested last week in Navarro County, Texas, on 10 counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography, a third-degree felony under the state’s penal code.
According to court records, a grand jury accused Aldama of possessing or knowingly accessing videos depicting children under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. The indictment listed the titles of 10 different video files, which were described as graphic and disturbing, with some explicitly advertising the abuse of children as young as two, four, and seven years old. The grand jury alleged that Aldama possessed or accessed these videos around July 22, 2022.
Following his arrest, Aldama was briefly taken into custody by the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office and later released on personal recognizance bond. Each count against him carries a potential prison sentence of two to 10 years if convicted. The terms of his release include probation starting on February 1, with monthly reporting to the Community Supervision Department in Freestone County, random drug tests, and voluntary searches of his electronic devices, residence, and vehicle by law enforcement officers. Additionally, he is prohibited from viewing any pornographic material, including through the internet.
Monica Aldama, who recently announced her retirement from coaching, has not made any public statements regarding her son’s indictment. Chris Aldama, William’s father and Monica’s ex-husband, serves as the director of community supervision and corrections in Navarro County. The Navarro County District Attorney’s office, which recused itself from participating in the investigation, declined to comment on the case.
Attorneys representing William Austin Aldama, Heather Barbieri and Kerri Donica, released a statement defending their client, claiming that the charges lack legal merit and are driven by the “shameless exploitation of celebrity connections.” They assert his innocence and express confidence that the facts will prove it during the legal proceedings.
This unfortunate incident is not the first legal scandal involving the cast of “Cheer.” Jerry Harris, one of the documentary series’ prominent stars, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in 2022 after pleading guilty to sex crimes involving minors. Harris admitted to receiving explicit photographs from a minor in exchange for money and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a 15-year-old during a trip to Florida.
As the case unfolds, questions arise about the potential influence of celebrity connections and the impact they may have on the investigation and legal proceedings. The attention drawn to this case, fueled by Monica Aldama’s fame, has sparked debates about the fairness and objectivity of the criminal justice system.
The Aldama family’s connection to the “Cheer” series, which gained widespread popularity upon its release in 2020, adds another layer of intrigue to this distressing situation. As the legal process moves forward, the truth behind the charges against William Austin Aldama will be revealed, shedding light on the extent of his involvement and the consequences he may face if found guilty.