Earlier this fall, Olympic gold-medal gymnast McKayla Maroney claimed she was repeatedly molested by former USA Gymnastics doctor, Dr. Larry Nassar. Nassar was also accused of sexually abusing more than 140 other women, including Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman.
In early December, 54-year-old Nassar was handed down a hefty sentence (60 years) on unrelated charges. He will essentially spend the rest of his life in federal prison for possessing child pornography.
On Wednesday, December 20th, Maroney filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics for trying to silence her abuse story. The organization reportedly made her sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of a financial settlement, reported NBC News.
The money was used to pay for Maroney’s psychological treatment, which she is still feeling the burden of today. Maroney is “traumatized,” and has suffered from depression and anxiety.
According to the lawsuit, USA Gymnastics insisted on a confidentiality agreement so "it could further conceal and shield from public scrutiny, outside investigation, and law enforcement, the true nature of Nassar's horrific sexual abuse of minors."
The lawsuit states, "Plaintiff alleges that Defendant USAG had a plan to keep the sexual abuse of Nassar quiet, and allow Nassar to quietly leave USAG, further silencing his victims."
Maroney is seeking to be released from the confidentiality clause.
Ironically, USA Gymnastics previously praised Maroney for sharing her story, calling her and other victims who stepped out of the dark “courageous.” The organization originally released the following statement:
"USA Gymnastics admires the courage of those, like McKayla Maroney, who have come forward to share their personal experiences with sexual abuse. Because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career."
This story is developing. If USA Gymnastics issues a response, this article will be updated accordingly.
Please continue to pray for McKayla Maroney and the other victims. May God bring them comfort and peace during this difficult time.
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