2018-03-02 12:53:02
Aly Raisman Sues U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Gymnastics Over Larry Nassar’s Abuse

12:53, March 02 110 0

The Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has sued the United States Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, saying they should have prevented the former team doctor, Lawrence G. Nassar, from sexually abusing her and other athletes.

The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court on Wednesday and announced Friday, names the two organizations as defendants, as well as Dr. Nassar; Steve Penny, a former president of U.S.A. Gymnastics; and Paul Parilla, the former chairman of its board.

Ms. Raisman, 23, won gold medals at the past two Summer Olympics, where she served as team captain. She is seeking a jury trial for “serial molestation, sexual abuse and harassment” by Dr. Nassar during trips abroad and in the United States that the lawsuit said the defendants could have prevented. The suit also alleges that up to 500 other unnamed individuals could have intervened.

“It has become painfully clear that these organizations have no intention of properly addressing this problem,” Ms. Raisman said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”

The United States Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Gymnastics did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Ms. Raisman said she suffers from depression, anxiety, and fear stemming from the abuse, which took place between 2010 and 2015 at the famed Karolyi training ranch in Huntsville, Tex., and elsewhere in the United States, as well as in Europe and Australia.

The abuse occurred during competitions and training, at events where the organizations were responsible for Ms. Raisman’s safety and making sure that protocols were followed, the lawsuit said.

“Thousands of young athletes continue to train and compete every day in this same broken system,” Ms. Raisman said. “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.”

In November 2017, Dr. Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing seven girls. But at sentencing hearings in January, more than 150 girls and women, including Ms. Raisman, described being sexually abused for years while in his care.

He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes. He had already been sentenced to 60 years for child pornography convictions. And in February, he was sentenced in another case to 40 to 125 years for criminal sexual conduct toward girls at a gymnastics center in Michigan.

The United States Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Gymnastics’ handling of the sexual abuse scandal has drawn sharp criticism, and has led to a shake-up of top officials in both organizations.

This week, Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee, became the latest official to step down under pressure.