Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman Says She Was Abused By Dr. Larry Nassar
US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says that former Michigan State and USA Gymnastic doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her when she was 15.
ALY RAISMAN ALLEGES SEXUAL ABUSE FROM LARRY NASSAR
Nassar is already facing 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and could face a life sentence. Raisman, who was the national team captain at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, that she has spoken to FBI investigators about her experiences. Three weeks ago, Olympian McKayla Maroney spoke out about Nassar’s assault on her when she was 13 and lasted until she left the sport.
Raisman spoke to 60 Minutes about her experiences, and her frustration that Nassar is only just now being investigated. “Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up? Why not look at what about the culture?” she said. “What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?”
“I am angry,” Raisman added.
The gymnast, now 23, details the abuse she endured in her new book Fierce, which hits stores Nov. 14. “I think that, you just want, you want to trust people and that he was just a disgusting person, he took advantage of so many people’s trust,” Raisman shared with USA Today Sports. “And I think, it just disgusts me he was a doctor. It’s crazy. Because when a doctor says something you want to believe him and it’s just awful.”
Watch Aly Raisman’s uInterview:
More than 140 woman are suing Nassar, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics. The doctor has already pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and is in jail awaiting his Dec. 7 sentencing. In addition, Nassar faces separate charges in the state of Michigan for digitally penetrating women during medical exams. If convicted on any one of the 22 counts, he could be sentenced to life in prison. In the past, Nassar and his lawyers claimed that intra-vaginal and intra-rectal procedures were normal and accepted medical practices.
Nassar was hired by USA Gymnastics in 1986 at the latest. He was named national medical coordinator from 1996 until his retirement in 2015, which was prompted by ongoing sexual assault claims.
Many of Raisman’s predecessors and teammates are part of the lawsuits and allegations against Nassar, including Jamie Dantzscher, Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard and Kami MacKay. Raisman and Maroney are the highest-profile athletes to publicly claim abuse so far.
“I’m really upset because it’s been – I care a lot, you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, I just… I can’t…,” Raisman said, struggling for words. “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.”
USA Gymnastics announced in a statement that it has adopted a new policy making it mandatory that athletes report sexual abuse suspicions or incidents. “Aly Raisman’s achievements have made her one of our country’s most decorated gymnasts, and her dedication and determination to succeed have inspired fans around the world. In the last year, Aly has become an advocate for many issues, and sharing her personal experience of abuse takes great courage,” the statement read. “We are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career,” it added. “We are committed to doing what is right, and we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”