Cranberry’s Miss PA Teen USA Takes Over Sheena Monnin Appearances
Julia Belechak will take over duties for Monnin, who resigned as Miss Pennsylvania USA amid scandal in June.
Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA will be pulling double duty for the rest of the year.
Cranberry resident Julia Belechak will take over the appearance duties of Sheena Monnin, who resigned as Miss Pennsylvania in June.
Monnin, also of Cranberry, made headlines last month when she accused the Miss USA pageant of being rigged. In statements on her Facebook page, Monnin said a fellow contestant in the competition saw a list of the top five women in the pageant before judging began on the show.
The 27-year-old also called the organization fraudulent, lacking in morals and trashy.
The move earned her the ire of outspoken mogul—and Miss Universe co-owner—Donald Trump, who publicly threatened to sue Monnin.
The Miss Universe Organization—which runs the Miss USA competition—also denounced Monnin’s allegations. In a statement to Cranberry Patch, the organization included an email Monnin sent to Sanders that said she was resigning because she did not agree with the organization's decision to admit transgendered contestants.
The Miss Universe organization has since slapped Monnin—who went on to defend her claims on NBC’s Today show—with a defamation lawsuit.
Randy Sanders, State Director of the Miss Pennsylvania USA Pageant, said Monday The Miss Pennsylvania USA position would remain vacant.
Instead, teen queen Belechak will take over Monnin’s appearance schedule.
“We are fortunate to have a wonderful Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA who has already made several appearances working with charities and organizations and is a strong advocate for bully prevention and empowering youth to embrace their uniqueness,” Sanders said.
Belechak is now preparing to compete for her own shot at a national title. She will travel to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas later this month to compete for the title of Miss Teen USA. The Miss Teen USA Pageant will be webcast live July 28.
Sanders added his organization offered the 2012 Miss Pennsylvania USA title to each of the runners-up from the state competition, but they all turned it down.
“By assuming the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012, they would be giving up their chance to compete at the national level. While the idea of having the current title, even for a few months, was appealing to each of them, these are highly driven young women with their own personal goals and aspirations and we respect their decisions,” he said.