Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman is suing the U.S. Olympic Committee for their response to the enormous sexual-abuse scandal that rocked the organization last month.
Six weeks ago, the gymnast drew attention to the Committee's mishandling of the scandal involving team doctor Larry Nassar molesting the gymnastics champion and other young athletes under the pretense of offering them medical treatment, according to NBC News. Now Raisman is taking things a step further by suing the sports federation in court papers filed in California, where she contends that they were aware or should have been "aware, at the highest levels of its organization, that Defendant Nassar had molested Olympic and National Team level gymnasts," according to ABC News.
Nassar was sentenced in January on seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in the first degree to 175 years in prison.
"You are so sick, I can’t even comprehend how angry I feel when I think of you," Raisman said during the sentencing statement. "The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere. And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me."
Since then, the entire board of USA Gymnastics resigned, under pressure from the United States Olympics Committee, the president and athletic director of Michigan State University (where Nassar worked) also stepped down, and USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun is stepping down due to a prostate cancer diagnosis. However, none of this is enough for Raisman, according to the aforementioned ABC News story. In a statement, she said:
"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. 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 described how Nassar was allowed access to elite athletes as they trained at the Karolyi Ranch and that a USA Gymnastics trainer was sometimes in the room when Nassar penetrated the girls with bare hands for what he described as "intravaginal therapy," according to paperwork obtained by NBC News. The suit also alleges that he sometimes had an erection.
Despite Maggie Nichols, a national team member, reporting the abuse to USA Gymnastics in the summer of 2015, the group waited more than a month before alerting the FBI and never informed Nassar's employers at Michigan State University. Raisman's suit alleges that USA Gymnastics should have suspected that Nassar was a pedophile when they asked him to stop constantly taking photos of gymnasts even before Nichols' complaint.
In January, just after Nassar's sentencing, Raisman told People that she does not "feel like justice has been served" because she wants to know who all continued to allow Nassar to go on abusing girls.
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