Democracy Dies in Darkness

Early Lead

McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics team doctor began molesting her at the age of 13

By Matt Bonesteel

October 18, 2017 at 7:41 AM

McKayla Maroney. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/)

Inspired to speak out by the burgeoning #MeToo movement, 2012  Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney announced early Wednesday on Twitter that she had been molested by Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to federal child-pornography charges in June and has been accused by more than 100 women and girls of sexual assault during his time as USA gymnastics’ team doctor.

Maroney, 21, alleges that Nassar began molesting her at the age of 13 at a U.S. national team training camp in Texas and continued the abuse until she left the sport. Maroney won a team gold medal as part of the Fierce Five as well as a silver in the vault at the 2012 Games in London where, she says, Nassar also abused her. She last competed at the 2013 world championships and announced her retirement in 2016.

Related: [Doctor at center of USA Gymnastics scandal left warning signs at Michigan State]

Maroney’s allegations echo those made by other gymnasts who say they were abused by Nassar: that he molested her in the guise of medical “treatment” for hip and back pain.

Nassar is scheduled to be sentenced on the federal child-pornography charges on Nov. 27 in Michigan. Prosecutors have recommended that he be given a prison sentence of between 22 and 27 years. Nassar still faces 22 state charges in Michigan over allegations that he sexually assaulted children, and convictions in those cases could result in a life sentence. His actions also are the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed by his alleged victims against both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, where Nassar worked for a number of years. It’s unclear whether Maroney is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Watch more!
Reports of rampant sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood have inspired women to speak up about their experiences, using the hashtag #MeToo. Actresses gave momentum to the campaign that has spread far beyond the entertainment industry. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

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Matt Bonesteel spent the first 17 years of his Washington Post career writing and editing. In 2014, Bonesteel pivoted from the newspaper to online and now he blogs for the Early Lead and other Web-based products owned by The Post.

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Early Lead

McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics team doctor began molesting her at the age of 13

By Matt Bonesteel

October 18, 2017 at 7:41 AM

McKayla Maroney. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/)

Inspired to speak out by the burgeoning #MeToo movement, 2012  Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney announced early Wednesday on Twitter that she had been molested by Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to federal child-pornography charges in June and has been accused by more than 100 women and girls of sexual assault during his time as USA gymnastics’ team doctor.

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