Former USA Gymnasts Detail Sexual Abuse by Doctor in '60 Minutes' Exclusive

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2017

28 Aug 1999: Jamie Dantzscher moves in her floor exercise during the US Gymnastic Championships at the Arco Arena in Sacremento, California.
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Three former United States gymnasts accused Dr. Larry Nassar of sexual abuse in an interview on 60 Minutes, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN).

Jamie Dantzscher, Jessica Howard and Jeanette Antolin "accused Nassar, a volunteer team doctor for USA Gymnastics for almost three decades before his tenure ended in July 2015, of touching them inappropriately while he disguised the abuse as treatment."

"He would put his fingers inside of me, move my leg around," Dantzscher told 60 Minutes. "He would tell me I was going to feel a pop and that that would put my hips back and help my back pain."

You can see the 60 Minutes report below:

Dantzscher has filed a civil lawsuit against the doctor, while USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny and others were named as co-defendants in the case for their alleged role in Nassar's abuse. The lawsuit claims USA Gymnastics "negligently suppressed, concealed or failed to disclose knowledge that Nassar had engaged in sexual conduct with team members."

On Sunday, USA Gymnastics released several statements on Twitter:

USA Gymnastics @USAGym

I firmly believe USA Gymnastics always had my health and well-being top of mind. https://t.co/SJjBNOqRqH

USA Gymnastics @USAGym

USA Gymnastics works every day to help young people fulfill their full potential in a safe environment. https://t.co/wqEdvbG8Gt

USA Gymnastics @USAGym

“We believe one instance of child abuse is too many. I assure that our efforts will continue to promote the safest environment possible.” https://t.co/DudUJVJ1cA

Nassar was fired two years ago by the organization after it investigated him for potential sexual abuse, and the doctor has been investigated by the FBI. He also faces charges not related to USA Gymnastics, as one woman said the doctor sexually abused her during her childhood. He has also been charged with possessing child pornography.

These are just the latest accusations of sexual abuse within the gymnastics community. Tim Evans, Mark Alesia and Marisa Kwiatkowski of the Indianapolis Star reported last year that "at least 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics."

That report also discovered that "predatory coaches were allowed to move from gym to gym, undetected by a lax system of oversight, or dangerously passed on by USA Gymnastics-certified gyms."