Recently we have seen cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault finally being outed, particularly in the field of entertainment. Names like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey were dominating the headlines, and just yesterday comedian Louis C.K. joined the list, one which is likely to continue to grow.
This morning we learned of another big name tied to a claim of sexual abuse, only this time it is a victim with a very recognizable name and face.
U.S. Olympian Aly Raisman, who won six medals (three of them gold) at the last two Olympic games, has joined a list of over 130 women claiming to have been sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Raisman tells her story to “60 Minutes” this Sunday, discussing what she has written in her new book “Fierce.”
Dr. Nassar spent over 20 years working with the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team and is now in jail after pleading guilty to charges of child pornography, but not guilty to charges of sexual assault. Yet with a long list of civil lawsuits filed against the doctor, one has to wonder what was/was not being done to protect these women, many of them young girls at the time of the assault.
Raisman says a lot of people have asked her why Nassar’s accusers didn’t speak up sooner.
RAISMAN: Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up? Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?
JON LAPOOK: You’re angry.
RAISMAN: I am angry. I’m really upset because it’s been– I care a lot you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, I just– I can’t– every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think– I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.
USA Gymnastics issued a statement to 60 Minutes, claiming they have instituted a new “safe sport policy” which requires mandatory reporting of suspicions of sexual abuse and seeks to “prevent inappropriate interaction” between adults and athletes. Commendable, but obviously very late for the victims who had to endure years of sexual abuse by a convicted child abuser.