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Posted: March 02, 2018

Aly Raisman files lawsuit against USOC, USA Gymnastics

Aly Raisman Accuses Larry Nassar Of Sexually Abuse

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman has filed a lawsuit against the United States Olympic Committee over the group’s handling of accusations of sexual abuse against team doctor Larry Nassar.

NBC News reported that Raisman says the USOC knew that Nassar was abusing her and other athletes by saying he was medically treating the athletes. 

In a statement Raisman said that both USOC and USA Gymnastics are not answering allegations about Nassar.

>> Read more trending news 

“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,” Raisman said in the statement to NBC News.

Raisman filed the lawsuit that cites the USOC and USA Gymnastics as defendants on Wednesday but the announcement of the suit was announced Friday morning, ABC News reported.

>>Who is Dr. Larry Nassar, former USA gymnastics team doctor?

The suit alleges that Nassar sexually molested Raisman at the Karolyi Ranch National Training Center and at competitions, including the London Olympics in 2012, ABC News reported.

The suit claims USOC members, “were aware, at the highest levels of its organization, that Defendant Nassar had molested Olympic and National Team level gymnasts who participated with Defendant USAG,” ESPN reported.

>>Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman delivers victim statement against Larry Nassar

Neither the USOC or USA Gymnastics have responded to media requests.

Raisman announced in November that she and 124 other women filed police reports against Nassar stemming back to September 2016. More than 260 criminal complaints and more than 200 civil suits have been filed against him, ESPN reported.

>>Former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child porn charges and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to 60 years behind bars on the child porn charges and 300 years in prison on the criminal sexual charges, which will go into effect after his federal sentence, ESPN reported. He’s technically not eligible for parole until 2117. 

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DirecTV
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 03: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman attends the 2018 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at NOMADIC LIVE! at The Armory on February 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DirecTV)


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VIDEO: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Testifies Against Larry Nassar

VIDEO: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Testifies Against Larry Nassar

Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

Aly Raisman, a six-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics and a two-time national team captain, said she was sexually abused by former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, CBS News reported. 

>> Read more trending news

In an interview that will be aired on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Raisman, 23, accuses Nassar of sexual abuse. Nassar already faces 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and could receive a life sentence in prison, ESPN reported.

More than 140 women are now suing Nassar and his former employer, Michigan State University. Attorneys for the alleged victims, USA Gymnastics, the school and other parties to the lawsuit are engaged in court-ordered mediation in an effort to reach a settlement.

Raisman, who was also captain of the 2012 Games in London, is the second member of the "Fierce Five" U.S. women's gymnastics team -- and third Olympian overall -- to allege abuses by Nassar, ESPN reported. McKayla Maroney alleged abuse by Nassar dating back to 2009, when she was just 13.

Raisman told “60 Minutes” that she spoke to FBI investigators after serving as national team captain at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In the interview, Raisman said she didn't know why it took so long for allegations against Nassar to come forward.

"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up? Why not look at what about the culture?" she said on “60 Minutes.” 

“What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?” she said.

Raisman discusses her experiences in a new book, “Fierce,” CBS News reported. The book will be released on Nov. 14.

“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 -- 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,” Raisman said on “60 Minutes.”

USA Gymnastics, in a statement to "60 Minutes," said it was "very sorry that any athlete has been harmed" and that "we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe."

 

Aly Raisman calls out sexual assault victim shamers, Gabby Douglas apologizes for response

Aly Raisman is responding to those who blame sexual assault victims.

Raisman, who just came forward with her own story of sexual abuse, shared a note on Twitter Friday in which she slammed people who question why victims do not come forward.

“Just to be clear… Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” Raisman wrote. “What is wrong with some of you? AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER.”

>> Read more trending news

Raisman continued, “Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in. I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear?”

“Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear,” she said.

Raisman captioned the tweet, writing, “we are all in this together. If we are going to create change I need all your help.”

The Olympian came forward with allegations against Team USA doctor, Dr. Larry Nassar, and detailed some of the abuse in her new memoir “Fierce.”

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

Despite Raisman’s request, E! News reported that her teammate, Gabby Douglas, appeared to say that how a victim dresses entices others.

“However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy,” Douglas wrote while quoting Raisman’s tweet. “Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”

The tweet has since been deleted, but fellow Olympian and teammate Simone Biles promptly called Douglas out and took a screenshot of the offending post.

“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears (because) as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her,” Biles tweeted. “I support you Aly  and all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”

Earlier this week, Raisman appeared on “Today” and spoke out about the abuse she endured in an interview with Hoda Kotb.

“He was a doctor, and he told met that his ‘treatment’ would help heal all of my injuries. I was so young. I had never really worked with another doctor or trainer before, and everyone said he was the best. He would give me these gifts. So, I really thought he was my friend. He always seemed like he had my back,” she said, adding that now that she’s older, she understands what happened and that he manipulated her.

“These monsters are so good at manipulating you. You’re so brainwashed to think, ‘I thought he was so nice,’” she said in her interview with Kotb. “I think he’s a monster. It is so disturbing to me what he did to me and so many other people. This is so much bigger than just me. It’s such a horrific thing to happen.”

Douglas, after trying to explain her initial tweet to some followers, posted an apology.

“I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates. Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you,” she tweeted with “#metoo.”

Nassar is currently facing 22 counts of first-degree sexual misconduct.

Gabby Douglas accuses former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glase

Gabby Douglas accuses former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Team USA gymnastics member Gabby Douglas came forward with her own allegations against team doctor Larry Nassar, saying she, like her teammate Aly Raisman, was sexually abused.

Douglas issued a statement via Instagram on Tuesday claiming she was sexually abused by Nassar. 

>> Read more trending news

“First, I want to reiterate my apology for responding the way I did to a comment that one of my teammates posted,” she wrote in response to her comments on Raisman’s own accusations against Nassar. “I know some of you may take what I am about to say as insincere, but I still wanted to provide context.

“The day before I commented, I was at an event where hundreds of children and young adults came to spend an evening with me. It’s very humbling when many people look up to you as an example,” she continued. “I take my job as a role model very seriously and I always want to do my best to represent all the best qualities that a role model should embody. I admit there are times that I fall short.” 

On Friday, Douglas responded to Raisman’s tweet in which she called out victim-shamers after making allegations against Nassar. 

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

“However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd,” Douglas wrote in the since-deleted tweet.

Fellow Olympic gymnast and Team USA member Simone Biles promptly called Douglas out.

“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears (because) as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her,” Biles tweeted. “I support you Aly and all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”

Douglas apologized later that day, later providing more context for her remarks in her Wednesday Instagram statement.

Related: Aly Raisman calls out sexual assault victim shamers, Gabby Douglas apologizes for response

“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” Douglas said Wednesday. “It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar. I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent, and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them. 

“I understand that many of you didn’t know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form! I will also never support attacking or bullying someone on social media or anywhere else,” she wrote. “To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too. I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, being courageous and doing good instead of evil. I have learned from this, and I’m determined to be even better.” 

Raisman responded to Douglas’ statement with support.

“I applaud your bravery @gabrielledoug I support you,” Raisman tweeted Wednesday morning. 

“Love you so much. So glad you know I would never attack you and that I support you too because united we stand, divided we fall,” Douglas responded.

USA Gymnastics also tweeted its support for Douglas.

“We admire the strength shown by Gabby and her teammates in speaking out publicly to hold a predator accountable,” the tweet said as part of a longer statement. “The organization has taken specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by adopting the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy.” 

Douglas joins dozens of other women, several of whom are former athletes, who have accused Nassar of abuse

On Nov. 21, Nassar plead guilty to seven counts of first-degree sexual conduct in a Michigan courtroom. CNN reported that he has been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level.

Former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

Former Michigan State and United States gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to the maximum of 60 years in prison by a federal judge Thursday for child pornography charges.

>> Read more trending news

Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining and possessing child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence in July. In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 state counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

“It’s imperative Mr. Nassar be deterred as long as possible,” Judge Janet T. Neff said, according to ESPN. “Mr. Nassar was, is and, in my view, will continue to be a danger to children. He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children.”

Neff also declared Nassar a threat to children.

Nassar is accused by dozens of women of molestation of young athletes at his Michigan State University clinics and the U.S. women’s team.

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

Former U.S. Olympians McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are three of many woman to accuse Nassar of sexual assault and disgusting his abuse as treatments. 

Related: Gabby Douglas accuses former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Nassar is still being sued by more than 125 women who claim he disguising his abuse as medical treatments. 

McKayla Maroney claims Team USA paid her to keep quiet about sexual abuse

Gymnast McKayla Maroney claims that she was paid by Team USA gymnastics to keep quiet about the sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, according to a new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday.

NBC News reported that Maroney’s attorney John Manly claims in the suit that the organization tried to hide the allegations against Nassar by having his client sign a confidential $1.25 million settlement and nondisclosure agreement. Manly was not Maroney’s attorney when she signed the agreement, and is he hoping to invalidate some of it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

>> Read more trending news 

Maroney went public with her allegations on Twitter in October.

“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,’” she wrote, in part. “It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver.”

Related: Aly Raisman calls out sexual assault victim shamers, Gabby Douglas apologizes for response

Ahead of Nassar’s December court date, Maroney and her mother, Erin wrote letters to Judge Janet Neff asking for Nassar to be given the maximum sentence.

“I was deeply saddened by the stories of my fellow Olympic teammates that suffered as I did at the hands of Larry Nassar. More than 140 women and girls had to say, ‘#MeToo’ to Nassar’s sexual assaults, and hundreds more were victimized to create the pornographic images that fueled his evil desires,” Maroney wrote to Judge Neff.

Related: Former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

Her mother added, “This experience has shattered McKayla. She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead.”

Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison in December for child pornography charges. He has also pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls and will be sentenced in January.

Simone Biles latest gymnast to claim team doctor sexually abused her

Simone Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics, went on social media Monday and became the latest gymnast to claim that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her.

>> Read more trending news

“I am one of the many survivors who was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles, 20, wrote on Twitter. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak these words out loud than it is now to put them on paper.”

Nassar, who spent more than 20 years working at Michigan State University and as a physician for USA Gymnastics, has admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, ESPN reported. 

In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of child pornography. He will be sentenced Tuesday for 10 state counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, ESPN reported. Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

Nassar has been accused by more than 140 women and girls of sexual misconduct. That includes Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, CNN reported.

“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive?’ ‘Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions,” Biles tweeted. “No. No, it was not my fault.

“No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG (USA Gymnastics), and others .”

In her tweet, Biles also called Nassar’s behavior “completely unacceptable, disgusting and abusive.”

Raisman offered her support to Biles in a tweet. Raisman accused Nassar of sexual abuse in November.

“I stand with you,” Raisman tweeted.

Chrissy Teigen offers to pay McKayla Maroney's possible $100K fine to speak out about team doctor

One after one, gymnasts and other victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, 54, stepped forward in a Michigan courtroom Tuesday to recount the sexual abuse and emotional trauma they say he inflicted on them as children.

U.S. Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among the many women to accuse Nassar of abuse.

>> Read more trending news 

Nearly 100 victims are expected to address the court during the four-day sentencing hearing. 

However, former gold medalist McKayla Maroney may not speak out.

In December 2016, Maroney signed a confidential settlement with the group that trains U.S. Olympic gymnasts to keep allegations that she was sexually abused by Nassar a secret.

The settlement included nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses and Maroney or her parents could be sued for more than $100,000 for violating the agreement. The suit seeks to invalidate those provisions under a California law that prohibits settlements in civil cases that could result in criminal sex offense charges.

Chrissy Teigen, who is from Snohomish, Washington, is offering to pay Maroney's possible fine so Maroney can speak out against Nassar. 

On Tuesday, Teigen tweeted the following about the fine:

"The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla."

Maroney said Nassar's abuse started in her early teens and continued for the rest of her competitive career.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

 

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman tells Larry Nassar ‘you are nothing’ in impact statement

One after another, gymnasts and other victims stepped forward in a Michigan courtroom to recount the sexual abuse and emotional trauma Larry Nassar inflicted on them as children.

Nassar, who is the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, pleaded guilty to molesting girls with his hands at his Michigan State University office, his home and a Lansing-area gymnastics club, often while their parents were in the room. He also worked for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

>> Read more trending news 

Victims, often referred to as survivors in the court room, described experiencing “searing pain” during the assaults and having feelings of shame and embarrassment. They said it had changed their life trajectories — affecting relationships, causing them to be distrustful and leading to depression, suicidal thoughts, anger and anxiety about whether they should have spoken up sooner.

Prosecutors are seeking at least 40 years in prison for Nassar, who has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have said they, too, were victims.

Related: Gabby Douglas accuses team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Raisman said Monday she would not attend the sentencing, but later changed her mind.

“I will not be attending the sentencing because it is too traumatic for me,” Raisman tweeted. “My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together.”

CNN reported that Raisman read her victim impact letter in court Friday in front of Nassar.

“I didn't think I would be here today. I was scared and nervous. It wasn't until I started watching the impact statements from the other brave survivors that I realized I, too, needed to be here,” Raisman said, according to BuzzFeed News. “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over so long a period of time, are now a force and you are nothing?” 

Related: Signs a doctor may be a sexual predator

Raisman praised fellow survivors and called on USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry to take responsibility for the organization, which Raisman said was “rotting from the inside.”

“A word of advice: Continuing to issue statements of empty promises thinking that will pacify us will no longer work,” Raisman said. 

Nassar admitted in November that he digitally penetrated 10 girls, mostly under the guise of treatment, between 1998 and 2015. As part of plea deals in two adjacent Michigan counties, he said his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.

Related: Simone Biles latest gymnast to claim team doctor sexually abused her

The criminal cases followed reports last year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving him and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse.

3 members of USA Gymnastics board of governors resign

Scott Olson/Getty Images

3 members of USA Gymnastics board of governors resign

Three members of the board of directors for USA Gymnastics resigned Monday as criticism increased over the organization’s handling of a sex-abuse scandal that involved former team doctor Larry Nassar, NBC News reported.

>> Read more trending news

Board Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley announced they were resigning, a move that was supported by Kerry Perry, the organization’s president and CEO.

"We support their decisions to resign at this time," Perry said. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.

"As the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve.”

USA Gymnastics, based in Indianapolis, trains Olympians, including nearly 100 competitors who said that Nassar sexually assaulted them, NBC News reported. Monday was the fifth day in which victim impact statements were given in Nassar’s sentencing, the New York Post reported.

>> USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60-year prison term

Nassar, who spent more than 20 years working at Michigan State University and as a physician for USA Gymnastics, has admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, ESPN reported. In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of child pornography. 

Monday was the fifth day of victim impact statements in Nassar’s sentencing.

USA Gymnastics has been criticized by Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles and Jordyn Weiber -- all of whom allege Nassar molested them.

USA Gymnastics board of directors to resign

UPDATE, Jan. 26, 6:40 p.m. local time:

The Associated Press reported that the entire board of directors of USA Gymnastics will resign, per the request of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

ORIGINAL STORY, Jan. 26, 3:21 a.m. local time: 

The chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee has threatened to decertify USA Gymnastics unless the remaining 18 members of its board of directors resign by Wednesday, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

In an email sent Thursday to the USA Gymnastics board, Scott Blackmun said an interim board must be assembled by Feb. 28, and that none of those members can be from the current board.

On Monday, three USA Gymnastics board members -- Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley -- announced they were resigning.

Blackmun wrote that a non-interim board must be in place within a year, ESPN reported.

>> 3 members of USA Gymnastics board resign

His request comes after a sexual abuse scandal that involved former national team doctor Larry Nassar, CNN reported. More than 150 women and girls claimed they were sexually abused by Nassar, including Olympic champions Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Simone Biles. 

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday. Nassar also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in November and received a 60-year sentence.

Blackmun said replacing the entire 21-member board of USA Gymnastics would guarantee a fresh start.

“We do not base these requirements on any knowledge that any individual USAG staff or board members had a role in fostering or obscuring Nassar's actions,” Blackmun wrote in his email. “Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.”

Blackmun also said that USAG must cooperate with an independent investigation to determine if anyone knew of abuse allegations against Nassar and neglected to report them.

>> NCAA opens investigation into Michigan State’s handling of Nassar abuse

In a statement Thursday night, USA Gymnastics said it “completely embraces” Blackmun’s requirements. 

“We understand that the requirements imposed by the letter will help us enhance our ability to accomplish change for the betterment of our organization, our athletes and our clubs,” USA Gymnastics said. “Our commitment is uncompromising and we hope everything we do makes this very clear.”

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