Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Jordyn Wieber sued Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and others Tuesday over alleged sexual abuse by team physician Larry Nassar.
Wieber’s Los Angeles Superior Court complaint makes her one of more than 260 people suing the MSU, USAG and others, accusing them of failing to prevent Nassar’s abuse of women and girls.
“The organizations that were responsible for caring for the plaintiff, and the individuals within those organizations who the plaintiff trusted to keep her safe, knew or should have known that Nassar was molesting athletes but turned a blind eye to these warnings …,” the suit alleges.
The USAG “made a corporate decision to purge or otherwise destroy all medical records of victims of Nassar, including those medical records of Jordyn Wieber, in order to further conceal the sexual abuse of Nassar,” the suit alleges.
In a prepared statement, Wieber said the lack of accountability from MSU and USAG has made her and other victims feel “shameful, confused, and disappointed.”
“My teammates and I were subjected to Larry Nassar every single month at the national team training center in Texas,” she said. “He was the only male allowed to be present in the athlete dorm rooms to do whatever he wanted. He was allowed to treat us in hotel rooms alone and without any supervision.
“Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of. Nobody was even concerned whether or not we were being sexually abused. I was not protected. My teammates were not protected. My parents trusted USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar to take care of me and we were betrayed by both.”
MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said the university is committed to coming to a resolution for the survivors.
“We are deeply sorry for abuse the survivors suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar and are working to make sure that something like this can never happen again,” she said. “Improvements to our reporting practices, sexual assault investigations and employee training procedures are all under way. In addition, we’re working to add more counseling and therapist staff positions and to reduce the response times for complaints.”
Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan state courts. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges and 300 years in prison on the state charges.
USA Gymnastics officials have condemned Nassar’s actions and insisted that the organization “has and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to promote athlete safety and prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, which requires mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction and establishes greater accountability.”