A former Edmonton Elks cheerleader and local cheerleading coach has been charged with the sexual assault and exploitation of a 17-year-old girl.
Christopher McMurren, a 33-year-old native of Hamilton, Ontario, was arrested and charged in Edmonton after a female complainant came forward to report incidents of sexual assault that occurred in 2013 and 2014 when the accused was her coach. He has been released on undertaking and will appear in Edmonton court on July 7.
Cheer Canada, the sport’s national governing body, suspended McMurren in July of 2020. Edmonton Police say he coached in Edmonton from 2011 to 2016 and that there may be other complainants, noting that abuse of a position of trust, authority, or power can invalidate what might otherwise appear to be consent.
Complainants are encouraged to come forward by calling the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone or reporting online at https://www.edmontonpolice.ca/ContactEPS/SAOnlineCrimeReport.
Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.
McMurren was a prominent member of the Edmonton Elks cheer team in the late 2000s, however it is unclear if he was still a member of the squad when the alleged crime occurred. The club is aware of the charges.
“The team takes these allegations seriously,” Elks executive director Allan Watt told CTV News Edmonton.
“The safety of our employees and our workplace environment is of utmost importance.”
According to the team’s statement, the cheer team was under the direction of an independent third-party contractor during the time period in question.