Olympic champ McKayla Maroney says team doctor molested her for years

Jonathan Hernandez
October 19, 2017

McKayla Maroney, known for her gold medal in the London Olympics, used this campaign to share her experience with former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.

Maroney, 21, alleges that Nassar began molesting her at the age of 13 at a United States national team training camp in Texas and continued the abuse until she left the sport.

Maroney alleges Nassar, who pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in June and has been accused by over 100 girls and women of sexual assault during his tenure with USA Gymnastics, also abused her during the 2012 games.

Maroney's allegations echo those made by other gymnasts who say they were abused by Nassar: that he molested her in the guise of medical "treatment" for hip and back pain.

"Everyone's words over the past few days have been so inspiring to me", McKayla said in her statement.

Maroney, who won a team gold and an individual silver on vault as part of the "Fierce Five" U.S. women's team at the 2012 Olympics in London, said Nassar continued to give her "treatment" throughout her career.

Maroney then went on to describe what she said was her "scariest night" of her life when she was 15. "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", she wrote.

USA Gymnastics told TIME they were not aware of any allegations until 2015, when they fired Nassar.

The former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, he is now in jail awaiting two trials on state charges alleging he molested former patients and a family friend. Attorneys have said more women are expected to join the lawsuits. 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.

As Fox News reports, Nassar pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

He also faces charges in state court in MI, largely related to allegations that he digitally penetrated women during medical exams for his own sexual gratification.

Maroney is the highest profile gymnast yet to come forward publicly claiming abuse by Nassar.

McKayla Maroney says she was molested by the United States team doctor.

Maroney suggested several options to help stop sexual abuse. This plea could possibly mean that he won't face criminal charges associated with the allegations against him that he abused Team USA gymnastics for years as in exchange for his admission of guilt. In custody since December 2016, he could get 22 to 27 years in prison.

"Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be a potential for abuse. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting".

The organization also named Toby Stark, a child welfare advocate, as its director of SafeSport.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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