North Carolina cheerleading coach arrested for alleged sexual assault of minors

Posted at 10:47 AM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 19:05:22-04

Kill Devil Hills, N.C. - A man who was accused of sexually assaulting minors was arrested on Thursday after a concerned parent contacted police.

Russell Scherer (Photo: Kill Devil Hills PD)

Russell Scherer (Photo: Kill Devil Hills PD)

Russell "Rusty" Scherer, 39, was arrested by detectives for five counts taking indecent liberties with children and one count of statutory sexual offense by an adult.

The six counts are for crimes against three different minors, but detectives believe that there could be more children involved.

"He was well known. Alot of people knew him. People like him. He's very personable, very charming, but there was rot at the core of that apple," says Lt. John Towler with the Kill Devil Hills Police Department.

Investigators say that Scherer has exhibited behaviors that can be associated with the recognized behavior of a repeat statutory sexual offender.

He has been living in the Outer Banks for five to six years.

Police say Scherer has worked as a gymnastics and cheerleading coach for several years, putting him in contact with hundreds of minors.

"The Department is requesting that the parent(s)/guardian(s) of any child who attended a class, academy or was taught by Mr. Scherer to speak confidentially with their child about interactions with Mr. Scherer," the Kill Devil Hills Police Department said.

Police ask that if a parent or guardian's child expresses any indication that the child has been subjected to unwanted touching, suggestive comments, suggestive text messages or emails, or contact of a sexual nature, by Scherer, they are strongly encouraged to call the Kill Devil Hills Police Department.

Police will also assist and counsel parents on how to talk to their kids about this topic if they feel uncomfortable.

The Dare County Sheriff's Office will schedule a forensic interviewer to talk to kids who come forward about any incidents with Scherer.

Scherer has been associated with the following businesses that have put him into contact with minors:

  • Xcite Cheerleading --158 National Avenue, Fletcher, N.C.
  • Coastal Crush Allstars -- 7359 Caratoke Highway, Jarvisburg, N.C.
  • Coastal Crush AllStars -- 2004 Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
  • Island Star Athletics -- 3100 Maritime Woods Business Park, Manteo, N.C.
  • Outer Banks Sports Club -- 2413 South Croatan Highway, Nags Head, N.C.

Coastal Crush AllStars and Island Star Athletics were owned by Scherer.

Police tell NewsChannel 3 that there was nothing in Mr. Scherer's background that would have given cause for concern to an employer wanting to hire him.

Scherer's first appearance in court will be on September 25 at the Dare County Courthouse.

Detectives are now executing search warrants on his electronics.

The identities of the children, including gender and specific ages, have been withheld from police due to the confidential nature of the investigation.