UPDATE: The alleged sexual assault victim in this case has come forward and spoken to FITSNews. Read that story here.
One day before a Greenville County, South Carolina coach died in an apparent suicide, a former Riverside High School athlete filed a police report accusing him of sexual assault.
Riverside cross country coach Eric Cummings was being investigated by Greer, S.C. police department, for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2016.
Cummings, who reportedly died by hanging on September 22, 2020, was the focus of a sexual assault investigation that had just launched the day before when the alleged victim (referred to as Jane Doe) went to Greer Police.
Sergeant Chris Forrester of the Greer police department told FITSNews that the sexual assault investigation was in the beginning stages and officers had not yet made contact with Cummings about their investigation.
The investigation remains open despite Eric Cummings’ recent death – which law enforcement reportedly told school officials was due to “suicide by hanging.”
Doe reported Cummings’ alleged sexual misconduct to Riverside high school authorities on September 1, 2020 and then went to police on September 21, 2020. Cummings was placed on administrative leave days later while the school investigated the claim.
According to Doe’s statement to police, the incident occurred when she was running track in 2016. She was injured, and Cummings approached her to tape her shin splints.
“He ran his hand up my thigh …” Doe said in the report. “He then proceeded to grab my breasts and squeeze them, saying ‘I like them small.'”
According to her statement, Doe tried to pull away, but then Eric Cummings allegedly tried to kiss her.
“Upon pulling away, he grabbed and squeezed my ass,” Doe wrote in the report.
She then pulled away, according to her report.
Doe was a minor at the time of the alleged assault, Greer police said in their report of the incident.
Multiple sources close to the situation told FITSNews that they have knowledge of several additional women rumored to be victims of Eric Cummings.
A source familiar with the situation told FITSNews that Cummings was “good at preying” on high school girls.
FITSNews is in the process of speaking with these other alleged victims.
Yesterday, sources familiar with the investigation told FITSNews that at least two former students had previously accused Cummings of soliciting nude pictures.
Our founding editor Will Folks reported yesterday that Cummings’ death had sparked a flood of speculation – especially as it related to this news outlet’s ongoing coverage of the Thornblade saga, a series of scandals emanating from a nearby country club in the Upstate.
However, Folks’ report indicated that as of this writing there was “no connection” between Cummings’ death and any of the Thornblade-related scandals FITSNews has been covering for the past few months.
A GoFundMe was started this week for Cummings’s family — which has raised more than $13,000. The page said he left behind his wife and three sons.
Cummings had coached the girls and boys track and cross country teams at Riverside since 2006 – winning multiple state championships and national coach of the year honors in 2017. He previously coached at Byrnes high school in Duncan, S.C.
As is our custom in reporting on suicides, if anyone reading this post is dealing with issues that have them questioning whether to take their own life (or attempt harming themselves), please – call a friend.
You can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK.
You are not alone, in other words.
We will continue to report on this story as we get more information. Stay tuned…
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