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‘Cheer’ Star Monica Aldama’s Son Arrested on Child Pornography Charges


The son of Monica Aldama, the cheerleading coach who rose to fame on the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” has been indicted on multiple charges of either having or knowingly accessing videos that depict child sexual abuse.

via CBS:

William Austin Aldama, 27, from Dallas, was arrested Thursday in Navarro County, Texas, on 10 counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography, which is a third-degree felony under the state’s penal code. If he is convicted, each count could carry a prison sentence of two to 10 years.

In an indictment filed the day before Aldama’s arrest last week, a grand jury accused him of possessing, or accessing with the intent to view, visual material that he knew contained images of children younger than 18 engaging in sexual conduct. The indictment referenced the titles of 10 different video files, which were cited as evidence for the 10 individual charges. The titles are graphic and disturbing, and some blatantly advertise children as young as two, four and seven years old being abused, according to the document.

The grand jury alleged that Aldama possessed or knowingly accessed those videos on or around July 22, 2022. He was arrested and briefly taken into custody Thursday morning by the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office and discharged several hours later, on personal recognizance bond. Sometimes called personal bond, that means a judge authorized Aldama’s release from custody without actually requiring him to pay the bond amount. County booking records show that Aldama’s bond was set at $20,000 for each count against him.

His release came with conditions, including probation beginning on Feb. 1, according to court documents. Aldama will be required under the terms of his probation to report monthly to the Community Supervision Department in Freestone County, which is about 40 miles south of Navarro, and submit to random drug tests as determined by the probation officer, as well as “voluntary searches” of his cellphone, computer, residence or car by any Texas law enforcement officer. The terms also stipulate that he “shall be prohibited from viewing pornographic images by any means including through the use of the internet.”

Aldama, who goes by Austin, appeared only a couple of times on “Cheer,” the award-winning series that followed a competitive cheerleading team at Navarro College led by his mother, Monica, whose personal life was intermittently shown onscreen over the course of two seasons. Monica Aldama recently announced her retirement from coaching. Her son’s father, Chris Aldama, who is listed as his emergency contact in booking documents, has served for years as the director of community supervision and corrections in Navarro County.

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CBS News contacted the Navarro County District Attorney, who declined to comment on Austin Aldama’s case and said the office had recused itself from participating in the investigation from the outset. When asked whether the recusal was related to Chris Aldama’s employment with the county, the district attorney also declined to comment.

Attorneys representing Aldama, Heather Barbieri and Kerri Donica, defended him a statement that claimed “charges against him lack legal merit” and were motivated by “shameless exploitation of celebrity connections.”

“In response to the recent media scrutiny surrounding our client, Austin Aldama, we want to set the record straight. The attention drawn to this case, fueled solely by the celebrity status of his mother, is an egregious attempt to distort the truth,” the statement said. “Let us be absolutely clear —Austin is innocent. The charges against him lack legal merit, and we are confident that the facts, which will prove his innocence, will come to light during the legal proceedings. The shameless exploitation of celebrity connections is nothing short of a witch hunt, and it’s time to respect the principles of our criminal justice system.”

10 different videos? That’s not an accident.



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