Dozens of women have come forward accusing a former U.S. gymnastics team doctor of sex abuse.
Larry Nassar worked as a doctor for the Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics for over two decades, and now a staggering 60 former gymnasts are accusing him of inappropriate touching during exams. According to Fox 59, Nassar is currently in custody in Michigan on unrelated charges of possession of child pornography and criminal sexual conduct.
The gymnasts’ accusations are the subject of a 60 Minutes report in which several of Nassar’s alleged victims described the assaults.
“He started massaging me. And– he had asked me not to wear any underwear. And then he just continued to go into more and more intimate places,” said gymnast Jessica Howard, according to Fox 59.
“It happened all the way to the Olympics in Sydney, till I was 18,” said gymnast Jamie Dantzscher.
John Manly, the attorney for 40 of Nassar’s accusers, said on 60 Minutes that he believes there could be many more alleged victims.
“I believe what–at the end of the day there are members of every single Olympic team since 1996 he did this to. That’s what we’re gonna end up with,” Manly said.
An IndyStar report last week found USA Gymnastics delayed in reporting the findings of its internal investigation for five weeks, despite earlier claiming that it had reported the finding immediately. USA Gymnastics issued a statement responding to the 60 Minutes segment, which read in part: “Keeping athletes safe requires sustained vigilance by everyone – coaches, athletes, parents, administrators and officials – and there is more work to be done. We are determined to strengthen standards throughout the sport.”
USA Gymnastics supports the development of the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, an independent agency established to oversee Safe Sport in the USA, similar to how the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency oversees anti-doping in our country. We are hopeful that this new agency, which is expected to open within weeks, will provide important leadership on Safe Sport and support for the entire U.S. Olympic movement.
Nothing is more important to USA Gymnastics than protecting young people. Their health and well-being is our priority, and USA Gymnastics is committed to doing everything we can to promote a safe environment for athletes.
“… this is somebody who is a serial predator,” Manly said. “But the story here is that no one was watching to protect these girls. And they put medals and money first.”