This week, America’s best gymnasts testified before a Senate Judiciary Hearing. The Olympians held the FBI accountable for mishandling their sexual abuse allegations.
Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Alexandra “Aly” Raisman recounted their abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The gymnastics industry’s history of child abuse gained more exposure with an Indianapolis Star investigation in 2016.
The piece uncovered multiple examples where a coach preyed on young female athletes for seven years after USA Gymnastics dismissed the first of four warnings about him.
Two former USA Gymnastics officials admitted under oath in a 2013 lawsuit that the organization routinely dismissed sexual abuse allegations as hearsay unless they came directly from a victim or victim’s parent. The lawsuit was filed by one of that coach’s victims.
In the months that followed the Indianapolis Star piece, over 140 women, including Raisman, Maroney, and Biles, shared accounts of abuse or filed lawsuits against Nassar or institutions that enabled him.
The Olympians delivered chilling testimonies detailing the atrocities committed against them by Nassar and the FBI’s apparent ambivalence.
Simone Biles fought through tears to tell her truth, blaming Nassar individually but “an entire system” collectively “that allowed his abuse.”
In addition, Biles also held USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee responsible.
“The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.”
McKayla Maroney left the room speechless when she graphically described Nassar’s abusive actions.
“(Nassar) turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor,” said Maroney.
Maroney’s details of her FBI interactions are chilling in their apathy. Her recollection of a 2015 phone conversation with the FBI where she told “all of my molestations in extreme detail,” was virtually dismissed.
Sitting on her bedroom floor, Maroney detailed describing instances of abuse by Nassar, “I cried, and there was just silence” on the other end of the phone from the FBI agent.
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