Parents shaken as cheerleading coach accused of rape
HEBER SPRINGS (KATV) —
A cheerleading instructor remains in jail in Cleburne County after being accused of raping a 13-year-old girl.
Matthew Tinkle has not posted his $50,000 bond on that rape charge, and Tuesday through an arrest affidavit, we're able to see what these accusations actually are.
As for parents who trusted him with their children, they're not sure what to think.
Running and flips showed it's business as usual inside Tink's Tumblers on Tuesday, but earlier in the day we learned police issued a search warrant, taking a laptop and several other items from the business.
"We were all floored, and very upset," said a concerned parent of a child who cheers at the studio.
The parent wanted to remain anonymous, and said the toughest part now is trying to protect their children from what's going on around them.
"We had age appropriate conversations with age appropriate kids, some mothers pulled their kids, but ninety-nine percent of them are still here," she added.
The affidavit shows allegations from the teenager said that while at the studio one night.
"Matthew unbuttoned her pants and pulled them down to her ankles," and later "told her not to tell anybody about this."
The alleged victim also told police through "text messages Matthew has ask her to have sex with him on different occasions," this all before one night when "Matthew started having sex with her." Then once again, she claimed "he told her not to say anything about this."
As a family friend of Matt Tinkle's, Diane Reeves can't believe any of this could be true.
"I just don't see this as being a characteristic trait for Matt. I'm very, very hurt by what people are saying," Reeves said.
We received screen shots of Facebook messages showing the accuser telling another employee at the studio that what she said wasn't true, but we have not been able to substantiate those messages.
The United States All-Star Federation for cheerleaders, who has licensed Tinkle, said it will not make any drastic changes unless there is a conviction.