Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman has joined the list of U.S. gymnasts who say they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the team’s longtime doctor. Raisman describes the abuse during an interview on “60 Minutes” that will air Sunday and also talks about it in her new book, “Fierce,” which comes out next week.
“I am angry. I’m really upset,” Raisman told “60 Minutes,” per USA Today. “I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is. . . . I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.”
Raisman would not divulge exactly what Nassar did to her, but she did say that Nassar began treating her at the age of 15. She also said that she spoke to FBI investigators about him after last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Raisman is the second member of the Fierce Five squad that won the team gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics to say she was sexually abused by Nassar. Last month, McKayla Maroney detailed how Nassar began molesting her at the age of 13 at a U.S. national team training camp in Texas and continued the abuse until she left the sport. Maroney also said Nassar abused her at the London Games.
Maroney’s allegations echo those made by other gymnasts who say they were abused by Nassar: that he molested her in the guise of medical “treatment” for hip and back pain.
Nassar, USA Gymnastics’ team physician for nearly 20 years, pleaded guilty to federal child-pornography charges in June and has been accused by more than 100 women and girls of sexual assault during his time as USA gymnastics’ team doctor. He is scheduled to be sentenced on federal child-pornography charges on Nov. 27 in Michigan. Prosecutors have recommended that he be given a prison sentence of between 22 and 27 years. Nassar still faces 22 state charges in Michigan over allegations that he sexually assaulted children, and convictions in those cases could result in a life sentence. His actions also are the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed by his alleged victims against both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, where Nassar worked for a number of years.
In August, Raisman criticized the way USA Gymnastics handled sexual assault complaints against Nassar and others involved with the organization.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re the Olympic champion or you’re an 8-year-old that goes to gymnastics in Ohio, or wherever you are in the United States,” she told USA Today and the AP. “Every single kid is important, and I want USA Gymnastics to do a better job with that.”
In a statement to “60 Minutes,” USA Gymnastics said it was “very sorry that any athlete has been harmed. We want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”
Last year, an Indianapolis Star investigation found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual assault at the hands of their coaches or other adults involved with the sport. A previous Star investigation found that USA Gymnastics routinely failed to tell police about many of the allegations that occurred under the organization’s auspices and allowed predatory coaches to move from gym to gym. As a result, USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny resigned in March and the organization brought in former federal prosecutor Deborah Daniels to review its practices. Daniels found that the organization needed a “complete culture change” and made 70 recommendations as to how that should happen. USA Gymnastics says it has adopted all 70.
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