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Gold medal gymnast says she was molested by team's doctor for several years

By: ANNA GIARITELLI, Washington Examiner
October 18, 2017 Updated: October 18, 2017 at 9:59 am
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FILE - In this July 29, 2012, file photo, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney poses after completing her routine on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastic women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Maroney posted a statement on Twitter Oct. 18, 2017, in which she said she was molested for years by former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney came forward on Wednesday with allegations that the former USA Gymnastics doctor molested her for years when she was underage and sexually assaulted her once she became an adult.

Maroney, 21, alleged Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her on several occasions, but the abuse started when she was 13 years old at a Texas training camp. It continued for seven years, and only ended last year when she retired from gymnastics.

"Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,'" Maroney wrote in a statement. "It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated.'"

Maroney, a gold medalist who was part of the U.S. team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, said she was assaulted in London "before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my Silver."

"For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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," Maroney said.

Maroney was inspired to come forward with her own story as a result of the dozens of women who have made allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and others, in recent weeks.

"People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse," Maroney wrote. "I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting."

This is not the first time Nassar has been accused of molesting dozens of young athletes during his time with USA Gymnastics and through his Michigan State University clinic.

More than 125 women have claimed they were molested or sexually assaulted by him during medical treatments. Nassar is in the middle of a federal lawsuit over the charges, though it's not clear if Maroney is one of the plaintiffs.

Nassar pleaded guilty to child porn possession in July and will go on trial for three criminal cases over allegations related to nine young gymnasts. He has pleaded not guilty and the trial is expected to start in December

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