For decades, the United States Of America Gymnastics (USAG) team has mesmerized the world with unsurpassed feet on the uneven bars, vault, floor exercise, and balance beam programs.
However, in November 2018, the US Olympic Committee announced it was beginning to decertify the USAG as the Olympic-level national gymnastics governing body due to the widespread sexual abuse cases involving their coaches and others.
The gymnastic team sexual abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented victims of sexual assault by gymnastics coaches and others.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to discuss what happened to you during a free, confidential abuse case evaluation. Our attorneys can provide legal case advice on how to successfully resolve a compensation case.
Horrific Gymnastics Sexual Assault Cases
In 2018, the Lansing State Journal reported that a Michigan court sentenced a former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar to a 175-year sentence after he pled guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual abuse involving minors.
He also received an additional up to 125-year years in prison in a Michigan state penitentiary after he pled guilty to three counts of sexual abuse.
While the number of years in prison seemed long, the Michigan State University team doctor faced accusations of sexually abusing over 500 female adults and children. Nearly all of Larry Nassar’s victims had been assaulted between 1992 and 2015 while he was providing “medical treatment.”
Many of Doctor Larry Nassar’s abused child victims gave impact statements in front of the case judge to have their say in court in front of their abuser. Larry Nassar’s crimes included saving more than twenty-seven thousand child pornography images on his computer.
To resolve the massive case with over 500 victims, USA Gymnastics agreed to a $215 million settlement plan to move out of bankruptcy court and close the Larry Nassar case.
Michigan State University paid half of the$215 million arrangement. While the $215 million agreement revealed the organization’s commitment to participating in making things right, the amount is not nearly enough to pay all abuse survivors.
Sadly, team doctor Larry Nassar was hardly the lone bad actor in the USA gymnastics world harming child athletes. In recent years, other high-profile gymnastics coaches have faced molestation crimes, including former USA gymnastics coach Terry Gray.
Local law enforcement arrested and charged Coach Gray in a case involving fourteen counts of lewdness involving underage children between 2009 and 2015.
During Coach Gray’s tenure, he served as a USA gymnastics member in Ohio and California. In 2019, the gymnastics organization suspended Coach Terry after allegations arose from sexually abused survivors. The organization launched an investigation to determine what happened.
A report in the New York Times revealed a culture in the USA gymnastics world where trainers, doctors, and coaches micromanage the adolescents and little girls’ every movement and decision. In 2018, the former head of the USA gymnastics team Steve Penny faced charges of tampering with evidence involving Larry Nassar.
That same year, the New York Times reported that USAG organization official Ron Galimore resigned from his leadership role after a misconduct scandal arose.
In recent years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has conducted extensive investigations to identify USA gymnastics coaches and others involved in the sexual abuse scandals.
An Explosive Story Involving Doctor Larry Nassar
In 2020, a Netflix documentary titled “Athlete A” focused on the USGA abuse survivors who were harmed by Doctor Larry Nassar. The film spotlights the exposed toxic culture of USA gymnastics teams, Michigan State University, and the Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
In the fall of 2020, the United States Congress enacted a law, signed by President Trump, providing additional protection for Olympic athletes to better a safe sport environment.
The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act ensure that if reforms do not occur, Congress can step in and overpower the decisions made by governing officials.
The Abuse Extends Further Than Sexual Abuse at Michigan State University
While the molestation of adolescent women and little girls is horrific, the abuse extends further. Many gold, silver, and bronze medalists and team members subjected to Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse also faced Bela Karolyi’s coaching style of “you can do it!” at all costs.
In the 1996 Olympics, Keri Strug had previously severely torn two ligaments and sprained her ankle in an earlier vaulting event. However, Karolyi pushed her to take one for the team even though another underage athlete had already scored sufficient marks mathematically when gold for the team over the Russians.
In 2012, Olympic Gold medalist Jordyn Wieber sprained her ankle while training with Karolyi at his ranch while the underage girl was still a minor. The gymnastics team transferred Weiber to the hospital without notifying her parents that she had suffered an injury.
Doctors diagnosed the gymnasts with a stress fracture just a few months before the Olympics. However, Doctor Larry Nassar intentionally hid the diagnosis and instead spoke to Aly Raisman about what had occurred with Jordyn.
Raisman later accused some Olympic team officials of participating in a “massive cover-up!” Others affected by USGA’s harmful practices include Olympians and current and former gymnasts like Maggie Nichols, McKayla Maroney, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher, and Simone Biles.
Many other victims accused the national team doctor Larry Nassar and others involved in USA Gymnastics and the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of inappropriate behavior.
USA Gymnastics Teams Failing to Report Sexual Assault
Unfortunately, sports history reveals that abuse scandals involving gymnastics coaches and minor victims are far from something new. In the sports world, coaches, trainers, national team doctors, support staff members, parents, other athletes, and former gymnasts are sexual abusers.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the USA gymnastics organization is rife with sexual abusers because of the easy access to minor athletes and little girls under the supervision of adults.
The organization and governing body could be held legally liable for hiring and supervising professionals who failed to report witnessed assault, rumors, or suspicions of sexual abuse harming victims.
A Struggling Organization in Limbo
During the scandal, officials at Michigan State University paid over five hundred million dollars to Larry Nassar’s victim-survivors to resolve compensation claims.
Hundreds of other survivors have filed similar civil lawsuits before and after USA gymnastics filed for protection through bankruptcy proceedings.
By August 2020, additional motions were being filed by “Jane Does” to be added to the civil lawsuit. By the end of the month, the court heard a joint motion asking the judge to conduct settlement conferences to begin the process of resolving many claims.
In 2020, Covid-19 has put a stop to many of the activities performed by young women. During the pandemic, athletes are required to follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines on social distancing while participating in national team sports.
Receive the Financial Compensation You Deserve
Unfortunately, sexually abusive behavior in gymnastics occurs all too often. Holding the secret about the assault you endured only slows the healing process. Speaking up and telling others about being abused could begin the road to your recovery.
Our attorneys recognize that what happened years ago profoundly altered your life’s journey. Speak with us today about your case in a confidential setting. Your dedicated lawyer will listen quietly and respectfully to help you gather the evidence you need to hold the sexual predator legally accountable for what happened.
In addition to seeking a financial compensation settlement, your lawyer will seek to file criminal and civil charges against the accused and the organization that allowed the victimization to occur. Other potentially accused defendants in your sexual abuse case might involve a school, recreation leak, club, gymnasium, or the USA Gymnastics team.
Speak With a Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
The gymnastics sexual abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have years of experience in representing sexually abused survivors. We have built solid compensation claims filed against coaches, trainers, team doctors, sports organizations, and others in charge of enriching the young victims’ lives.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to speak with an injury and abuse attorney to begin the process of recovering today. All discussions with our legal team regarding your case will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.