New Report Reveals 20-Year Sex Abuse Scandal Across US Gymnastics Programs
At least 368 child gymnasts have alleged sexual assault by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for top gymnastics programs across the country over the last 20 years.
Hundreds of court documents and police files show that at least 368 child gymnasts have alleged sexual assault by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for gymnastics programs across the country in the last two decades, according to a major report from IndyStar.
Not only did top officials at USA Gymnastics—the Olympic arm of the sport—fail to report many of the allegations to police, but in some cases, its lack of systematic oversight allowed predatory coaches and staff to move from one gym to the next.
The report, which was the result of a nine-month investigation, details troubling allegations of adults engaging in sex with minors, molestation, and nude photographs being taken of children as young as six without their knowledge. In one case, a coach was allegedly forcing a 14-year-old gymnast into sex on a daily basis at one of the country's most prestigious gyms.
USA Gymnastics released a statement to IndyStar saying, "USA Gymnastics is proud of the work it has done to address and guard against child sexual abuse."
According to the paper, the organization hired a special prosecutor to assist in strengthening its policies back in August, and it's also helping to develop a new program, called US Center for SafeSport, which will help investigate claims of sexual abuse across Olympic programs.
The gymnasts shown in the photo above have no known association with the report. Photo via Flickr user John Brooks