Olympian McKayla Maroney Accuses Former Team USA Gymnastics Doctor of Sexually Abusing Her for Years
Olympic gymnast spoke out in a lengthy Twitter post about the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar
Maroney, 21, shared her story in a lengthy Twitter post early Wednesday, joining the long list of social media users who have shared their stories of sexual assault, harassment and abuse with the hashtag #MeToo.
“I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team, and Olympic team,” Maroney stated. “It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and didn’t end until I left the sport.”
She said Nassar told her that she was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.”
A lawyer for Nassar did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette declined to comment on Nassar’s case. He remains in federal custody in Michigan, she adds.
“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,” Nassar continued. “[Nassar had] 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.”
More than 80 women have accused Nassar of sexual assault.
He faces several charges related to the alleged abuse. In July, Nassar pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in federal court, ABC News reported via ESPN.
In exchange for Nassar’s guilty plea, U.S. prosecutors have agreed not to pursue charges in two additional incidents of alleged sexual crimes with minors. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Dec. 7, according to the Lansing State Journal.
He still faces 33 charges of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, according to USA Today. The Lansing State Journal reports jury selection begins in the state case the same week as his federal sentencing.
Nassar was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the organization since 1986 — he had been is national medical coordinator since 1996, the New York Times reported. He was fired from Michigan State last year.
Maroney is the latest alleged victim to come forward with her story. In her post, she wrote, “It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’ ”
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“I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting,” Maroney wrote.
Team USA Gymnastics released a lengthy statement about allegations in February, stating in part that “Regarding Dr. Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics is appalled that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in the manner alleged. We are grateful to the athletes that brought their concerns about Dr. Nassar to USA Gymnastics.”
Maroney’s story, and several other victim accounts, come as movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, 65, finds himself in the midst of an ongoing sexual harassment and abuse scandal with actresses including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie speaking out against Weinstein’s alleged behavior.
In a bombshell New York Times report earlier this month, eight women accused him of acting inappropriately. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”