U.S. Olympic Hero McKayla Maroney Says She Was Sexually Abused By Team Doctor Larry Nassar (TWEET)
Social media has been dominated by #MeToo posts over the last several days, as women around the world speak up about their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment in the wake of the bombshell revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who it turns out is a flaming sack of human excrement.
Now the #MeToo movement has circled back around to shed new light on a scandal that has been getting far too little public attention.
In a statement posted to Twitter in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, United States Olympic hero McKayla Maroney added her name to the list of over 140 women who say they were sexually assaulted by U.S. Gymnastics Team doctor Larry Nassar.
Maroney, now 21, says the abuse began when she was just 13 years old. It continued through the 2012 London Olympics, where as a 15-year-old she helped the U.S. win team gold. It only ended when Maroney retired from gymnastics at the age of 16.
“I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team,” Maroney writes in her statement. “Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.’ It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’” Maroney continues. “It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver. For me the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”
— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) October 18, 2017
Nassar has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts, both in the U.S. program and at Michigan State. Over the summer he plead guilty to child pornography charges, and he still faces 33 charges of sexual misconduct in the state of Michigan, plus a host of other lawsuits by over 100 other women.
Given that the abuse took place over the course of 30 years, many have claimed that U.S. gymnastics authorities must have known something was going on. Some have speculated that Nassar’s abuse may have been the subject of a Jerry Sandusky-style coverup.
Hopefully Maroney’s story will help crank up the heat and force authorities to keep digging.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]