Olympics: Aly Raisman claims sexual abuse by Team USA doctor

11 November, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman looks on before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Kansas City Royals

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman has become the latest American gymnast to allege she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former team doctor Larry Nassar. After the Rio Olympics, where she won a second team gold as well as silver medals in the all-around and floor exercise, Raisman told 60 Minutes she finally chose to speak to FBI investigators about Dr. Nassar.

"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up?" she asked. Raisman, who says she's "angry" and "really upset" about what happened to her and others, originally addressed in August the many accusations against Nassar, but at the time she didn't get into her own history with Nassar.

More than 130 women have filed lawsuits against Nassar, saying he sexually abused them as he worked with the US gymnastics team for more than two decades.

Dr. Nassar accepted a plea deal in July that would have him serve a combined sentence of 22-27 years for possession of child pornography, rather than charge him with sexual assault - a widely criticized move prosecutors justified by saying that numerous allegations they heard occurred overseas, where they have no jurisdiction.

More than 140 women are now suing Nassar and his former employer, Michigan State University, as well as USA Gymnastics and other defendants.

RAISMAN: I am angry. I can't. every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think. "I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this". If convicted, Nassar could be sentenced to life in prison.

Raisman writes about the alleged abuse in her new book, Fierce, explaining that she was 15 years old when she was first treated by Nassar, 60 Minutes reports. In 1996, he was named national medical coordinator, a position he held until the summer of 2015.

"USA Gymnastics is very sorry that any athlete has been harmed", the statement said.

Raisman has also called for sweeping changes in leadership, including the removal of the chairman of the board, Paul Parilla.

In a statement to 60 Minutes, USA Gymnastics said it has made major changes since the Nassar scandal broke. She says she met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

It was commissioned by USA Gymnastics and conducted by Deborah Daniels, a former Federal prosecutor, who spent a significant portion of her career prosecuting child sexual offenders, and scrutinised the organisation's methods. Part of Stark's mandate is educating members on rules, educational programs, reporting and adjudication services.


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