Top executives at the USA Gymnastics organizations, a leading Olympic organizations, failed to alert outside authorities of the many sexual abuse allegations against its coaches–relying instead on policies that enable predators to sexually abuse and molest gymnasts long after executives received warnings.
The unveiling of such allegations come after an IndyStar investigation uncovered several instances of children suffering the consequences, This includes the release of a ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuit filed in 2013 by a former gymnast who had been secretly videotaped by former coach William McCabe whilst changing. This lawsuit claims USA Gymnastics was negligent as it had received four prior sexual abuse complaints against McCabe but allowed him to continue coaching in ‘good standing’, enabling him to work with the then-11-year-old defendant.
The larger story appears to repeat many of the same elements at play in the 2011 Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. In both cases, the institutions appear more interested in protecting their reputations and the coaches than those they reportedly exist to serve. This includes a failure to report on the terrible crimes occurring on their properties.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun says the organization has no plans to investigate current allegations raised against authorities who failed to act on sexual abuse allegations, including current USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny and former USAG head Robert Colarossi.
“We do not intend to investigate. We couldn’t possibly investigate allegations of misconduct in 47 different (national governing bodies). We do what I think is a pretty state-of-the-art policy regarding abuse and misconduct, not just sexual misconduct, so we will watch those proceedings,” Blackmun said Friday.
This does little to console those victims who watched their abusers remain in positions of authority for far too long. Such is the case of former U.S. national team coach Doug Boger who has been accused of sexually or physically abusing at least 10 former gymnasts. One of the accusers, Charmaine Carnes, told reporters she was sexually abused by Boeger starting when she was 8 or 9-years-old and that such abuse continued until she was well into her teens.
In a recent interview, Carnes compared the situation to the Catholic Church wherein coaches know that the institution by large favors their side and will enable them to get away with abuse.
If someone you love is being abused within an institution, it’s time to take a stand. Contact our personal injury attorneys today.