Child sex crimes trial of former cheer coach underway

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-26 13:39:25-04

HENRICO, Va (WTVR) - The trial of a former cheerleading coach accused of child sex crimes is underway in Henrico County Circuit Court. Today, before a jam packed courtroom, an alleged victim testified that Maurice "Mo" Jerralds pursued and began a sexual relationship with her when she was 13.

The first witness, who is now 17, told judge Katherine Hammonds, that Coach Jerralds'
advances came in a progression over several months.  It began with Jerralds asking to see the girl's underwear and check if her 'body is healthy,' and eventually evolved into oral and manual sex.

Jerralds faces a total of 13 felony counts of indecent liberties with a minor. The accusations stem from five different girls, and include charges of fondling, exchanging nude pictures and sexual intercourse with the oldest victim.

All the charges will be tried together in this case. Jerralds has requested a bench trial, meaning a judge, not a jury, will decide his fate

The girls range in age from 11 to 17-years-old at the time of the alleged crimes, dating back to 2003.

This is Jerralds' second time embroiled in a child sex abuse case. He was acquitted of sexual molestation allegations in 2001 when he coached at Spirit Station gym in Chesterfield and Henrico.

The defense plans to argue that these accusations were launched as a vendetta against
Coach Jerralds, although the motivation remains unclear.