Earlier this month, two former USA gymnasts accused a former team doctor named Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. One of the accusers is an Olympic medalist, who is choosing to remain anonymous at this time. The civil suits were filed in Michigan and California. The women gave two separate, similar interviews to IndyStar about their encounters. The women said they were molested during the 1990s and early 2000s. Both claimed to have been fondled during exams and one claims Nassar was aroused during one visit.
As of Sunday, 16 additional gymnasts have come forward to accuse Nassar of abuse. Five of the women have started reaching out to news outlets. One of them even filed a complaint back in 2004. Each of them stated that they told police that Nassar penetrated them with his fingers during medical treatments. Three of them stated they were underage at the time. Nassar’s former lawyer stated that the doctor had no procedures that included vaginal penetration but his current lawyers claim he did. Nassar has not changed his story, according to his lawyers. Nassar was recently fired from Michigan State University, where he treated most of the school’s gymnasts.
This the second stunning blow to the reputation of USA Gymnastics in two months. Executives recently confessed to ignoring sexual abuse allegations from its athletes. In one situation, a coach was able to prey on gymnasts for seven years because four different warnings about him were ignored.
One of Nassar’s alleged victims spoke to IndyStar about the frustration of her unacknowledged accusations, saying:
“I think that what affected me the most is that I came forward and I felt like I did everything I was supposed to do, but there was no action on it… I felt very alone in that fact because I felt like I had kind of spilled everything and there was no one there to protect me.”