Eighteen female athletes are suing Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics for failing to protect them from sexual assault at the hands of the former USA Gymnastics team physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, People magazine reported.
The plaintiffs include gymnasts, swimmers, figure skaters, runners, hockey players, basketball players, and soccer players, a majority of whom were underage at the time of their alleged abuse. The abuse allegedly occurred during the context of medical treatment or physical therapy between 1996 and 2016.
The 18 plaintiffs all remained anonymous in the suit, except gymnast Rachael Denhollander, who first told The Indianapolis Star that Nassar allegedly assaulted her by massaging her breasts and penetrating her with his fingers when she was 15.
In the last few months, Nassar also pled not guilty to sexually assaulting two underage gymnasts and child pornography charges.
The lawsuit alleges that Nassar sexually abused female athletes at Michigan State University up until he was fired in September 2016, and that USA Gymnastics didn’t inform Michigan about their concerns about Nassar after he was fired from the organization the previous year.
“When we first learned of athlete concerns regarding Dr. Nassar in the summer of 2015, we immediately notified the FBI and relieved him of any further assignments,” said USA Gymnastics in a statement to People.