The Associated Press
July 24, 2018
Senators questioned the sincerity of reforms at the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University in the wake of sex-abuse scandals — using legal papers, emails and accounts of conversations to portray organizations that still don’t fully grasp the pain they inflicted.
At a hearing Tuesday in Washington, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut criticized leaders of the USOC and USA Gymnastics for court filings this month that seek to absolve the federations of legal responsibility for Larry Nassar’s sex-abuse crimes.
Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and others blistered Michigan State’s interim president, John Engler, for insensitive emails and comments he made during negotiations that produced a $500 million settlement with sex-abuse victims who attended the school.
“I think you have some repair work to do here today, to put it mildly,” Hassan said, prompting applause from the 80 or so victims who attended the hearing.
Nassar, a longtime sports doctor at Michigan State who also volunteered as the team physician for USA Gymnastics, is serving decades in prison for child pornography and other crimes after hundreds of women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical care.
Last Friday, the USOC filed a motion to be removed as a defendant in lawsuits filed by gold-medal gymnasts Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney, arguing that it had no legal responsibility for Nassar’s actions.
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