Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has come forward with her own experience about sexual abuse, telling 60 Minutes that she was molested by one of the U.S. women’s gymnastic team doctors.
Raisman, 23, from Needham, said that she first encountered Dr. Larry Nassar when she was 15 years old. Nassar worked with the U.S. women’s national gymnastics teams for more than two decades, CBS reports, and is now in jail after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
Nassar did not plead guilty to sexual assault charges, however, despite civil lawsuits against him alleging sexual abuse filed by more than 130 women, according to CBS, many of whom are former athletes.
Raisman is one of the most high-profile athletes yet to speak up about Nassar. She describes the abuse in her upcoming book, “Fierce.” In her interview with 60 Minutes, she says she’s often asked why Nassar’s accusers didn’t speak up sooner.
“Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up?” Raisman says. “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?”
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 10, 2017
Rumors about sexual assault have long swirled around the world of gymnastics. In Dec. 2016, The Indianapolis Star published an exposé in which 368 gymnasts alleged sexual exploitation at gymnastic gyms.
“I am angry,” Raisman tells 60 Minutes. “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.”
Raisman also told 60 Minutes that she spoke to FBI investigators about Nassar after the Rio Olympics. In October, her teammate McKayla Maroney said that she was molested by the doctor as well, beginning when she was 13 years old.
Raisman has previously been outspoken about calling out how USA gymnastics handles sexual abuse scandals and specifically calling Nassar a “monster.” Her interview with 60 Minutes will air this Sunday.