A former gymnast on the U.S.A. Summer Olympics team has sued her coaches, famed couple Bela and Martha Karolyi, for allegedly "turning a blind eye" to regular acts of sexual abuse committed by a longtime physician in the facility, Larry Nassar.
The victim, identified as plaintiff "Jane LM Doe" in court papers, claimed the Karolyi's were aware of Nassar's alleged abuse at their training facility and ignored the problem to protect their image.
According to the 60-page lawsuit, Nassar introduced "intravaginal adjustment" to the victim, a non-medical term and practice he allegedly used to "digitally penetrate" the victim's vagina in order to "adjust her bones."
"These vaginal examinations were well outside any recognized and/or accepted technique and were done for Nassar's own sexual gratification," the lawsuit alleges.
Over 20 women have filed sexual abuse complaints against Nassar, 53, thus far, with claimed incidents starting as far back as 1996.
"Using his position as team physician, Nassar would interact with the alleged victim under the guise of providing her care and treatments necessary for her to compete as a world-class, Olympic medal-winning gymnast," the suit continued. "Under these circumstances, Nassar introduced his bar hand to the victim's vagina, on multiple locations, in the victim's assigned living quarters, without any supervision or chaperone."
Last month, two other gymnasts came forward with claims of abuse.
Rachael Denhollander alleged that Nassar assaulted her five times while she was being treated for lower back pain at Michigan State University in 2000. She was just 15 at the time.
"I was ashamed," she said of the incidents. "I was very embarrassed. And I was very confused, trying to reconcile what was happening with the person he was supposed to be."
"He's this famous team doctor," Denhollander continued. "He's trusted by my friends. He's trusted by these other gymnasts. How could he reach this position in the medical profession? How could he reach this kind of prominence and stature if this is who he is?"
Nassar hasn't been charged and vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
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