McKayla Maroney, Mother to Present Statements in Larry Nassar Abuse Case

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 02:  McKayla Maroney of USA gets ready to compete in the Womens Vault Qualification on  Day Three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Belgium 2013 held at the Antwerp Sports Palace on October 2, 2013 in Antwerpen, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Former United States Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and her mother, Erin Maroney, will present written statements in the case of former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused of sexually assaulting numerous female gymnasts, per John Barr of ESPN.com.

(Warning: The following contains graphic descriptions that may be disturbing.)

"This experience has shattered McKayla," Erin Maroney wrote in a letter. "She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world-class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead."

McKayla Maroney has accused Nassar of abusing her while purporting to give her medical treatment.

"It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first national team training camps, in Texas, and it didn't end until I left the sport," she wrote in her letter to the court. "Because the national team training camps did not allow parents to be present, my mom and dad were unable to observe what Nassar was doing."

Her mother detailed one of the incidents, as described to her, in her letter:

"I ... learned a few weeks ago from my daughter that at the world championships in Tokyo, [Nassar] drugged her, made her lay nude on a treatment table, straddled her and digitally penetrated her while rubbing his erect penis against her. She was only 15 years old. She said to me, 'Mom I thought I was going to die.'

"I cannot tell you the anguish her Dad and I feel and the responsibility we feel for not being aware of this or being able to stop it."

Nassar, meanwhile, has pleaded guilty to "10 counts of criminal sexual conduct, including multiple counts involving the abuse of patients 13 years old or younger" and also pleaded guilty to downloading images and videos of child pornography, per Barr. The child pornography charges include a minimum 27-year prison sentence, though prosecutors are pushing for 60 years.

According to Barr, Team USA policies prohibit adults from being alone with children, but Maroney and several other gymnasts—including her former teammates, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas—have accused Nassar of abuse.

Maroney and her mother have said USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University—where Nassar was employed on a full-time basis—and the U.S. Olympic Committee all failed her and other gymnasts. 

"A simple fact is this. If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar's behavior, I never would have met him, I never would have been 'treated' by him and I never would have been abused by him," she wrote.

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