Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney Alleges That Team Doctor Molested Her For Years

Lynette Rowe
October 19, 2017

Inspired by the #MeToo movement and the courage of the people coming forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney published a letter on social media early Wednesday morning saying that she was sexually abused by US Women's National Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar for several years, beginning when she was 13.

Nassar is accused of sexually abusing over 140 women and girls.

"It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated, '" Maroney wrote.

Maroney is best known for being a part of the Fierce Five at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and for her "not impressed" face after winning silver also in 2012.

Maroney also alleges that, when she was 15, Nassar gave her a sleeping pill during an all-day flight to Tokyo and that she woke up alone with him in his hotel room.

Maroney named convicted sex offender Larry Nassar as her abuser in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter.

According to ESPN, there are 125 women suing Nassar, his former employer, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics.

Nassar, 53, has been charged with sexual conduct with minors in the state of MI, where he practiced, and is named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by athletes who say he abused them under the pretense of giving them medical treatment. Jamie Dantzscher, a bronze medallist on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, was part of the initial wave of lawsuits filed against Nassar in 2016. He has already pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in July, but he will not be sentenced until November 27.

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According to ESPN, Nassar is facing charges in a MI court in a case in which two women alleged he "digitally penetrated them during medical exams" for his own sexual pleasure.

It has not been confirmed by the court if Maroney was one of Nassar's victims, but the former doctor is facing 15 first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Ingham County and seven first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in Eaton County.

In the past, Nassar and his attorneys have defended the intra-vaginal and intra-rectal treatments as accepted medical procedures.

The 53-year-old doctor will go on trial in December for three criminal cases, to which he has plead not guilty, on abuse allegations from nine gymnasts, the Examiner reported.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney attends Tiger Beat's Pre-Party around FOX's Teen Choice Awards at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on July 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. Prosecutors are recommending that he's given between 22 and 27 years of prison time.

"Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be a potential for abuse".

"I thought I was going to die that night", Maroney added. In 2016, the Indianapolis Star revealed that USA Gymnastics had a policy of not alerting law enforcement of sexual abuse claims unless the reports came directly from the victim or her parents. The organization also fired president Steve Penny in March.

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