DETROIT (WWJ) – An Olympic gold medalist says she was sexually abused by former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nasser.
McKayla Maroney said on Twitter that Nasser, who faces several criminal charges in Michigan and pleaded guilty to federal child porn charges, gave her a sleeping pill at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo and then molested her in his hotel room.
“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,” she wrote.
Maroney says Nasser told her she was receiving a medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30-years.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” she said.
The 21-year old Maroney says the abuse started when she was 13 and continued until she left the sport in 2016.
“It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” she said. “I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.”
Nassar — who spent nearly 30 years working as an osteopath for USA Gymnastics’ elite athletes — remains jailed without bond after pleading guilty to three child pornography charges. He’s still awaiting trial on nearly two dozen other charges while also facing more than 100 civil lawsuits claiming he abused female athletes during his tenure at both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State. Many are in mediation and four cases in California are tied up in the courts.
Many of the women have the same allegations: During the course of Nassar’s treatments, the doctor inserted “his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand” into the victim’s vagina, sometimes while their parents were in the room. When one woman reported Nassar’s disturbing “treatments” to MSU training staff, she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world-renowned doctor and that his “inter‐vaginal adjustments” were legitimate medical treatments. The alleged incidents took place at his Michigan State clinic, his home in Holt and at a Lansing-area gymnastics club. Some allegations go back to 2000.
Nassar was fired from Michigan State University in September 2016, and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, cut ties in 2015.