For days, women filed into the Michigan courthouse to confront their abuser in a horrific child sex abuse case. The man on the stand – Larry Nassar – was accused of violating and sexually abusing more than 160 girls in his care over his career of 20 years. For two decades Larry Nassar worked with the U.S.A. gymnastics teams, as well as athletes at Michigan State University, and Michigan Twinstars gymnastics club. The girls, who have now grown into women, described unspeakable acts of sexual abuse while they were in his care. Each of these women took the stand to face their abuser and demand justice.
Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving more than 160 girls. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to 40 to 175 years in prison. He will spend the remainder of his life behind bars.
One of the victims, Aly Raisman, gave a scathing speech in court where she pointed a much needed finger at the organization, USA Gymnastics. She said the organization ignored allegations of sexual abuse and even threatened her to be quiet. The three-time gold medal-winning gymnast faced her abuser and called for sweeping changes in leadership at USA Gymnastics. She said that USA Gymnastics is “100 percent responsible” for the sexual abuse that was allowed to continue for decades.
The Fallout – USA Gymnastics
Several women have stated that they reported the abuse to top officials at USA Gymnastics, but that their claims were ignored – allowing the abuse to continue and countless girls to be injured. On January 27th, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that a special prosecutor will investigate the incidents closely and determine the culpability of each of the schools that employed Larry Nassar over the years. The prosecutor will look to determine:
- How the abuse continued for 20 years without being stopped?
- Who at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics was aware of the actions?
- What steps did university officials take when they became aware of the accusations?
More than 100 accusers have filed civil lawsuits against Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. They allege that the institutions were negligent and failed to warn or protect. These institutions failed to report the claims and investigate properly. One suit filed by 2012 Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney alleged that USA Gymnastics paid her to keep quiet of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar.
Resignations are a Start
Since the Larry Nassar child sex abuse scandal broke, there have been many resignations including:
- Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon resigned in late January 2018
- Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis announced his retirement
- Michigan State physician Brooke Lemmen resigned last year after she removed bodes of confidential treatment records at the school’s request
- Gymnastics coach Klages retired in 2017
- All of the board members of USA Gymnastics stepped down in January
In addition to resignations, USA Gymnastics has already begun an extensive overhaul – which began in late 2016. In June 2017, former federal prosecutor released a report highlighting the numerous shortcomings of the organization in how they handled and reported sex abuse. USA Gymnastics has since said that it would implement the 70 recommendations which included requiring members to report suspected sexual misconduct to the legal authorities and implementing an abuse prevention training plan for everyone.
Contact Our Denver Sexual Assault Victims Rights Attorneys Today
If your doctor or medical professional has sexually assaulted you, we can help you seek justice against your abuser and against the negligent facilities that harbored them. At the Gold Law Firm, our Denver sexual assault victims rights attorneys are passionate about representing survivors of sexual assault and helping them seek the justice they deserve. We have the experience and the resources needed to fight for you. Contact the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303)-694-4653.