The sheer scale of victims in the Larry Nassar abuse case has made it clear that USA Gymnastics suffers from a moral rot at its core. The inaction of board members from USA Gymnastics, those of the USA Olympic Committee, and even the FBI, allowed Nassar to sexually abuse women for decades without repercussion.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, one of Nassar’s victims who gave a statement at his recent trial, is now suing USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) over this inaction, according to Buzzfeed News.
Nassar was given three separate sentences recently that amount to a maximum of 360 years in prison after more than 150 victims gave statements against the 54-year-old former doctor for USA Gymnastics saying that he used his position of power to molest them. Many of the gymnasts and athletes were well under the age of 18 when they said Nassar sexually abused them.
Now that Nassar has been given his heavy punishment, the dominoes have started falling at both USA Gymnastics, where the entire board was forced to resign, and at the USOC, from where CEO Scott Blackman resigned this week.
“After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented,” Raisman said in a statement given to NBC News. “I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”
Raisman’s lawsuit was filed at a court in Santa Clara, California. In the suit, Raisman says she continues to suffer from depression and fear stemming from the times Nassar abused her when she was a minor climbing up the ranks of world gymnastics.
“You lied to me and manipulated me to think that when you were treating me you were closing your eyes because you had been working hard when you were really touching me, an innocent child, to pleasure yourself,” Raisman said in her powerful statement to Nassar at his trial last month.
During that trial, the judge said more than 260 women in all had made complaints to police that Nassar abused them while he was on the medical staff with either USA Gymnastics, the USOC, or at Michigan State University.
According to Raisman’s lawsuit, at least one national team member of USA Gymnastics told the organization she had been abused by the doctor, but the incident was not reported to the FBI for at least another month.
The case gained international attention in 2016 when the IndyStar newspaper published a sweeping investigation into the detailed claims against Nassar.