51 women, girls sue U.S. Olympic Committee in federal court in Colorado for failing to stop sexual abuse by Larry Nassar
Fifty-one women and girls are suing the U. S. Olympic Committee, its officers, directors and national governing board for failing to prevent sexual abuse by former coaches and national team doctor Dr. Larry Nassar, who is in prison for sexually abusing gymnasts.
One plaintiff is a Colorado resident who accused Nassar of sexually assaulting her in 2001 at the Karolyi Ranch, a former gymnastics team training center in Texas. The victim, who was identified only as “Jane L.W. Doe,” was 15 and a U.S. National Team gymnast when she sought treatment for a back injury, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Colorado because the U.S. Olympic Committee is headquartered in Colorado Springs. Four of the defendants — all former officers of the committee — are Colorado residents. The lawsuit is asking for an unspecified amount in damages, and the plaintiffs are demanding reform and accountability to protect athletes.
The 134-page lawsuit claimed those who could have prevented the abuse of young female athletes concealed it, were negligent with reports and investigations, and allowed for the abuse to continue. The lawsuit asserts that to this day, the Olympic committee and its directors are not taking proper measures against employees or representatives who are accused of sexual abuse.
Kimberly Dougherty, a Boston attorney representing the victims, said this lawsuit differs from previous ones in that it shows the abuses have been going on for decades and not just by Nassar but by coaches, too.