Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doc - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doctor

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KHQ.COM - Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney says she was molested by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar from the time she was 13 to her retirement from the sport last year.
    
The 21-year-old posted a lengthy statement on Twitter on Wednesday that detailed the allegations of abuse. She says the abuse began at one of her first team training camps and also occurred before events at the 2012 Olympics. She and her teammates won gold for the U.S. in London and Maroney took an individual silver medal on the vault.

Maroney is the most high-profile gymnast to come forward with accusations after three of her teammates, Jamie Dantzscher, Jeannette Antolin and Jessica Howard, claimed on "60 Minutes" in February that Nassar abused them when they were minors.
    
Nassar is in prison in Michigan after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. He is awaiting trial on separate criminal sexual conduct charges and has been sued by more than 125 women alleging abuse.
    
His lawyers and USA Gymnastics didn't immediately return requests seeking comment Wednesday.
 

"I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting,'' she wrote.

Maroney wrote that Nassar told her she was receiving "medically necessary treatment" that he had been performing for years. She cited an alleged incident when she was 15 and flew with the team to Tokyo.

"He'd 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."

Maroney hopes that breaking her silence encourages others and shows that it's never too late to speak up.

"People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood,'' she wrote. "This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse.

"Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it's time to take our power back."

Maroney's statement comes as numerous women share personal stories of sexual assault and abuse in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The hashtag #MeToo was promoted by actress Alyssa Milano last weekend and has encouraged women from all walks of life to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.

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