On Jan. 17, 2024, Cheer captain and star Monica Aldama's life took a turn for the worse. Her son, William Austin Aldama, who goes by Austin, was indicted for possessing with intent to view visual material of minors engaging in sexual conduct. He was arrested the following day on 10 counts of possession with intent to promote child sexual abuse material (CSAM), which is a third-degree felony in Texas.
This isn't the first scandal to hit Netflix’s Cheer. Before Season 2, Cheer favorite Jerry Harris was arrested on federal charges of production of CSAM and sexual exploitation of minors. He was later sentenced to 12 years in prison. Monica’s life seems surrounded by these tragedies, but who are her kids?
Monica Aldama has two kids — a son and a daughter.
We know that Monica’s son, Austin, will now be in the throes of a legal battle. But Monica also has a daughter, Ally. Both Austin and Ally appeared in various episodes of Cheer alongside their father, Chris, as Monica’s family and support system. Luckily, Ally isn’t making headlines like her brother.
She’s keeping it lowkey while studying at the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. Ally wrote on her LinkedIn, “I grew up in small-town Corsicana just south of Dallas, Texas … I am a very curious person, and I love anything that involves critical thinking. I am most interested in aviation, property, and healthcare law, but I am always open to learning about and trying different areas! I also love writing, and I am a Staff Editor for the SMU Science and Technology Law Review Journal.”
On May 20, 2022, Ally married her longtime boyfriend, Trevor Denbow, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts. The couple both went to SMU, where Ally was a star cheerleader and he was a star football player. He proposed to her after six and a half years of dating in the SMU stadium, making it the amphitheater of their love.
Monica Aldama’s son, Austin Aldama, has been indicted and arrested for CSAM.
Austin allegedly possessed or knowingly accessed at least 10 different inappropriate videos on or around July 22, 2022. According to CBS News, “The titles are graphic and disturbing, and some blatantly advertise children as young as two, four, and seven years old being abused.” These 10 different titles are what led to the 10 charges against Austin, who was released shortly after his arrest on “personal bond.”
His bond was set at $20,000 per count, but he didn't have to pay this, likely because his father works as the director of community supervision and correction in Navarro County. However, the Navarro District Attorney refused to comment and even said that they’re recusing themselves from participating in any investigation, likely because of that conflict of interest. They haven’t confirmed the reason, but that’s what media outlets seem to suspect.
Austin’s attorneys, Heather Barbieri and Kerri Donica, are maintaining Austin’s innocence. "In response to the recent media scrutiny surrounding our client, Austin Aldama, we want to set the record straight. The attention drawn to this case, fueled solely by the celebrity status of his mother, is an egregious attempt to distort the truth," they said in a statement.
"Let us be absolutely clear — Austin is innocent. The charges against him lack legal merit, and we are confident that the facts, which will prove his innocence, will come to light during the legal proceedings. The shameless exploitation of celebrity connections is nothing short of a witch hunt, and it's time to respect the principles of our criminal justice system."
Even still, if convicted, Austin could be sentenced to between two years and 10 years in prison per count, which would be a maximum of 100 years and a minimum of 20. Either way, things aren’t looking great for the Aldama family.