House Oversight Committee launches investigation after Larry Nassar sentencing for sexual abuse

Source: Washington Examiner

By Melissa Quinn

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has opened an investigation into sexual abuse within USA Gymnastics after former team doctor Larry Nassar was convicted and sentenced for sexually abusing young gymnasts for more than a decade.

The committee sent letters to the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club, and Karolyi Ranch on Thursday asking for information related to the sexual abuse scandal.

“Sexual assault should never be tolerated, but when it does occur, it is imperative that swift and immediate action be taken to stop the abuse, prevent it from recurring, and address its effects,” a bipartisan group of committee members said in a letter to USA Gymnastics. “Unfortunately, a lack of action allowed Nassar’s offenses to infect nearly every level of gymnastics in our country. … One of the most disturbing aspects of the survivors’ accounts is how this reprehensible conduct went undetected or ignored for years. Coaches, instructors, law enforcement, and other trusted adults all failed these young athletes.”

The letter is signed by committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as well as Reps. Virginia Foxx, R-Va., Steve Russell, R-Okla., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking documents related to complaints the institutions received about Nassar, records related to other sexual assault complaints about other USA Gymnastics individuals, and procedures with regard to providing medical treatment to athletes that was sent to the Michigan gymnastics gym where Nassar worked, the USA Gymnastics Club, and the Karolyi Ranch, the Texas-based U.S. Women’s National Team Training Center.

“USA Gymnastics has a significant responsibility to its sport and athletes. It helps oversee and train the clubs, coaches, doctors, trainers and athletes,” the lawmakers wrote. “Yet, the organization’s team doctor sexually abused young gymnasts unfettered for years.”

Nassar was sentenced to up to 125 years in prison by a judge in Eaton County, Mich., on Monday, which followed a sentence of up to 175 years in prison Nassar received from a judge in Ingham County, Mich., last month.

More than 200 women confronted Nassar during the two trials about the abuse they suffered.

USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, are currently being sued by Nassar’s victims for failing to address his misconduct despite having knowledge of it.

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