Raw video: Olympic gold medalist delivers victim impact statement at hearing for former Michigan sports doctor.
Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman is taking a stand and suing the embattled U.S. Olympic Committee [USOC] and USA Gymnastics, calling for the federations to look into how disgraced doctor Larry Nassar’s sexually abusive conduct was allowed to go unchecked for so long.
The suit filed Wednesday in California claims the federations “knew or should have known” of Nassar’s sexual abuse. Raisman, 23, is one of Nassar’s numerous victims.
Aly Raisman filed the suit after being frustrated by what she considers is a lack of progress.
Raisman accuses the USOC and USA Gymnastics of failing to make sure appropriate protocols were followed to monitor Nassar, who was also named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
News of the lawsuit comes days after Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the USOC, announced he was resigning. Blackmun said he was stepping aside so he could focus on battling prostate cancer, and allow the federation to move forward under new leadership to address the Nassar sex abuse scandal that has rocked gymnastics and other sports.
Raisman told NBC News in a statement that the USOC and USA Gymnastics are not being transparent on how much they knew of Nassar’s inappropriate behavior.
“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,” she said. “I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”
Raisman, one of the most celebrated recent Olympic stars, revealed in November she was abused by Nassar during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Aly Raisman is one of Larry Nassar’s many victims.
In January, the athlete confronted Nassar in court with a powerful and emotional speech that detailed the abuse and steps needed to ensure it never happens to other athletes again. In her testimony, she also called out the USOC and USA Gymnastics, asking why have they “been silent” throughout the whole ordeal.
A few days after her testimony, the USOC apologized for not being at the hearing and demanded the USA Gymnastics board resign. The federation also said it launched an investigation into the abuse.
Raisman’s lawsuit also details how the disgraced doctor abused the gymnasts at Karolyi Ranch outside Huntsville, Texas. USA Gymnastics announced in January that gymnasts would no longer train at the gym following the abuse scandal.
The suit alleged an USA Gymnastics trainer would be in the room at the time when Nassar abused his victims. The trainer allegedly became aroused at times when Nassar “penetrated the girls with his bare hands for what he described as intravaginal therapy.”
The gymnastics federation claimed it has no knowledge of Nassar’s abuse until national team member Maggie Nichols reported the doctor to USA Gymnastics in 2015. The lawsuit alleged USA Gymnastics “asked Nassar to stop constantly taking photos of gymnasts before Nichols’ complaint and should have suspected he was a pedophile,” NBC News reported.
Larry Nassar will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
In January, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting young female athletes and child pornography crimes. Nassar will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
The fallout following the scandal was wide. Michigan State University, which employed Nassar, was sued by dozens of women. The school’s president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned following Nassar’s sentencing.
John Geddert, the owner of the Michigan club Twistar, was suspended last month by USA Gymnastics and announced his retirement. Nassar was sentenced to his third prison term for molesting young athletes at the elite training center. Geddert claimed he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.
Meanwhile, Raisman has become an activist following her powerful testimony and coming forward alleging abuse against the doctor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.