Lance Spencer, Former Gymnastics Coach, Faces 16 counts of Child Sexual Abuse

Lance Spencer, Former Gymnastics Coach, Faces 16 counts of Child Sexual Abuse

Huntington parents and community members have learned of some shocking news: a former gymnastics coach in our area is in the middle of a troubling case of sexual abuse. Lance Spencer was indicted on 16 counts of child sexual abuse after a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office.

The 55-year-old Huntington resident is facing multiple counts, including sexual abuse by a custodian and sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust to a child. The Cabell County Sheriff launched an investigation in 2022 into Lance Spencer, the former gymnastics coach who now faces 16 counts of child sexual abuse, after a reported incident to the U.S Center for SafeSport, an organization that investigates allegations like these.

All of the inappropriate acts allegedly occurred between 2003 and 2021. These cases involve at least three youths from the area. However, law enforcement officials believe that Spencer may have victimized more children.

Possibility of More Victims

Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle wants anyone with information or who has been abused to come forward in the case.

Prosecuting attorney Jason Spears also noted, “In cases like this, sometimes the first person that comes forward is the hardest, but that may give the courage to someone else to say, hey, you know what I was in those shoes as well and to come forward. It will be investigated as relentlessly until we know it’s done and justice is done.”

Anyone affected by these alleged crimes can contact the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office or fill out the FBI’s Pittsburg Division’s online form.

The alleged abuse occurred at Spencer’s home in Huntington and Bozhi’s Gym Nest, where he worked as a gymnastics coach. Many of the alleged sexual abuse acts were performed under the guise of assisting female students with physical therapy or gymnastic instructions.

Currently, Spencer is being held at the Western Regional Jail on a $300,000 cash-only bond.

Holding These Individuals Accountable

Spencer’s alleged actions serve as a stark reminder that we must do more to protect our youth from exploitation by those in authority. However, this case is not an isolated incident.

Over the years, the legal team at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, has witnessed numerous instances of individuals entrusted with the care of children betraying that trust, leaving lasting emotional scars on young lives.

One of the most heartbreaking examples is the Miracle Meadows case. For three decades, this residential facility in West Virginia was meant to provide services to troubled youth.

Instead, it became a breeding ground for abuse. Staff members perpetrated unimaginable acts of sexual and physical abuse. The victims, dozens of students, endured trauma that will haunt them for a lifetime.

Even today, these acts of abuse are still common across the globe, with Paris Hilton recently highlighting abuse allegations in Jamaica. No community is immune from these deplorable acts.

The Role of Sexual Abuse Legal Advocacy

As one of the representatives of the Miracle Meadows survivors, we fought tirelessly to bring justice to those affected. Our efforts culminated in a landmark achievement: a $100 million settlement. Our team also worked to secure a $2 million settlement in another school abuse case.

While these instances of troubling abuse tend to end up in the spotlight, they are not the only ones affecting families across West Virginia. Many victims are suffering in silence due to the traumatic experience at the hands of trusted individuals.

If you or someone you know has been affected by child sexual abuse in the pending Spencer case or another incident, the sexual abuse lawyers at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC are ready to assist with these sensitive legal matters.

We are here to provide you with the guidance, support, and representation you deserve as you fight for justice.

Remember that you are not alone. Your voice matters. Take that next step and contact one of our attorneys at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC today.