After bravely testifying at Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing, Aly Raisman is now suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics over their response to the doctor’s sexual abuse of hundreds of female athletes.
“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 in a statement according to NBC News. “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.”
In her memoir, Aly, 23, detailed the abuse she suffered in the doctor’s hands while competing on Team USA’s gold-medal-winning gymnastics team. “I would lie on the table, my hands involuntarily balling themselves into fists as his ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing,” she wrote. “I would grit my teeth trying to convince myself that all this was part of the healing process. The truth was he never made my injuries feel any better, but I always obeyed because he had a reputation for being the best doctor.”
And at his sentencing hearing, where he was punished with 40 to 175 years behind bars, Aly spoke out against the USOC and USA Gymnastics for failing to protect their athletes. “Neither USA Gymnastics nor the USOC have reached out to express sympathy or even offer support,” she said last month. “If over these many years, just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided.”
At the time, the USOC denied knowing about Dr. Nassar’s predatory behavior until 2016. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that the organization ignored warnings about the doctor a year earlier. The entire USA Gymnastics board has resigned in the midst of the scandal.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.