No charges in Colorado cheerleading forced-splits videos

Ozell Williams
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2016, file photo, Ozell Williams performs a somersault as part of pre-game ceremonies before Colorado hosts Arizona State in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo. Williams, a coach who was shown on video pushing cheerleaders down in splits, was fired from another Colorado high school last year because of concerns about his techniques. Williams is among five school workers who were placed on leave from Denver East High School after the videos were made public and police opened an investigation. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

DENVER (AP) — A Denver prosecutor says no charges will be filed following an investigation into videos showing a high school coach pushing cheerleaders down in splits.

District Attorney Beth McCann said in a statement released Saturday there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges after a police investigation.

The former coach, Ozell Williams, was dismissed after the videos became public. An East High School principal retired, and an athletic director resigned.

The recordings were broadcast on KUSA-TV in August, showing eight cheerleaders repeatedly being pushed into splits. In one video, a girl appears to cry out in pain and repeatedly asks the coach to “please stop.”

McCann says the coaching technique “has no place in high school cheerleading coaching” but that the coach’s actions don’t constitute a prosecutable crime.

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