Cheerleading coach accused of raping student

  • Thu Apr 8th, 2010 10:30pm
  • News

By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer

EVERETT — A cheerleading coach was jailed Wednesday after police learned he had an alleged sexual relationship over many years with one of his students beginning when the Everett girl was about 13.

The coach, Michael Sijera Cielo, 36, of Fife, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Wednesday for investigation of third-degree rape of a child. He was released on a $10,000 bond Thursday.

Cielo has worked with many Puget Sound area cheerleading squads including Galaxy Cheer, Storm Athletics All Star Cheer, Seattle Prep Cheer and South Elite All-Star Cheer, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Detectives have no evidence of additional victims, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said. Still, he said publicity over the arrest may result in new evidence.

The girl met Cielo when she was a seventh-grader and participated in a program at the Galaxy Cheer gym in Redmond, police said.

Detectives interviewed the girl and she told them that Cielo over an extended period of time became physical with her and encouraged an intimate relationship. During at least one encounter, Cielo made a video of him and the girl, police said. The man also allegedly set up a private Web page where he encouraged the girl, now 16, to post nude photos.

She recently told a counselor, who alerted state officials.

Police obtained a judge’s permission to monitor a phone conversation this month between Cielo and the girl.

Goetz said that phone call helped police develop probable cause to arrest Cielo.