Monday, 11 December, 2017

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

Former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar in court Wednesday AFP Getty Images Former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar in court Wednesday
Jerome Frank | 26 November, 2017, 01:34

I want them to heal.

"It felt very uncomfortable, very degrading. Why?"

She also said she's not buying his apology.

Nassar is now in a MI jail after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

"I pray every day for forgiveness", he said.

The criminal cases against Nassar followed reports a year ago in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches.

In a statement to the court on Wednesday, Nassar said he was pleading guilty to "move the community forward and stop the hurting".

"I agree that now is a time of healing", she said, "but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars-thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood, which you were trained as a healer and what you did is harm them".

WELLS: Jump forward now 20 years.

Earlier, when he was entering his guilty pleas for all of the charges, Nassar seemed nervous, but when giving this self-aggrandizing speech, he appeared nearly at ease.

The comment was widely attacked as victim shaming, with Simone Biles, the 2016 all-around gold medalist, showing her disappointment in a post to Twitter in which she said it "shocks me that I'm seeing this but it doesn't surprise me".

Ms. Maroney was the first of the gold medal-winning gymnasts to publicly accuse Dr. Nassar when she revealed details of her abuse in October, and Jamie Dantzscher, a bronze medalist from the 2000 team, was among the initial group of Dr. Nassar's accusers past year.

Meanwhile, alleged victim Larissa Boyce said it was "really hard" to look at Nassar in the courtroom. This was a man that we trusted, and he's admitting that what he did was wrong and evil.

Nassar is also facing charges in MI, where he is expected to plead guilty next week.

USA Gymnastics has had a very tumultuous year. One woman says she brought her concerns to athletic trainers, another to the Title IX office - only to be told Nassar was using legitimate medical procedures.

"You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way - to abuse children", Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, noting that sex abuse is a nationwide "epidemic". Larry Nassar, 54, faces at least 25 years in prison after he admitted sexually assaulting seven girls between 1998 and 2015.

Women's gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned earlier this year, but others remain on the job. Her attorney issued a statement in part saying Klages would never do anything to put any of them in harm's way and that Dr. Nassar was trusted by Ms. Klages to competently and ethically treat her team members. Larry Nassar said in court he hopes his victims can start the healing process.

"We felt like we were alone for so long", Harrison said on Friday.

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