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Texas Governor Calls for Karolyi Ranch Investigation After Larry Nassar Scandal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2018

Larry Nassar sits with attorney Matt Newburg during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. The former sports doctor who admitted molesting some of the nation's top gymnasts for years was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison as the judge declared:
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly sent a letter to the Texas Rangers—the state's public safety agency—and asked for an investigation into the Karolyi Ranch near Houston in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.

Dan Murphy of ESPN.com reported the news Tuesday, noting multiple women who spoke at Nassar's weeklong sentencing hearing said he sexually assaulted them at the training ground that was used by USA Gymnastics. 

Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting girls and women as a doctor for United States Gymnastics and Michigan State University.

Murphy noted USA Gymnastics ended its relationship with Karolyi Ranch during the sentencing hearing.

"The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gutwrenching," Abbott wrote in the letter, via Murphy. "Those athletes, as well as all Texans, deserve to know that no stone is left unturned to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly vetted and the perpetrators and enablers of any such misconduct are brought to justice. The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less."

According to Murphy, multiple gymnasts said Nassar assumed the role of "good cop" alongside demanding coaches such as Bela and Marta Karolyi to gain trust before abusing them. Aly Raisman pointed to his tendency to give her secret treats and said, "He was grooming me so he could molest me."

When Simone Biles revealed in a Twitter message she too was sexually abused by Nassar she said it "breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused."

USA Gymnastics CEO and president Kerry Perry announced the organization's decision to break its relationship with Karolyi Ranch in a press release on Jan. 18, via Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports.

Perry said it was her intent to do so as soon as she assumed her position in December because the organization is "committed to a culture that empowers and supports our athletes."

The ranch had served as a training ground for USA Gymnastics since 2001.

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