Maroney/ Facebook
Last October, former US gymnast Mckayla Maroney took part in MeToo campaign revealing that she was one of the gymnasts who fell victim to team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

This week, Maroney along with her mother Erin Maroney released the victim-impact statements in form of letters that where supposed to be read out loud in court where Nassar is being tried for sexually assaulting dozens of female athletes and possessing child pornography.

"This experience has shattered McKayla," Erin Maroney wrote in the letter describing her daughter's ordeal. "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."

Warning graphic content

"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."

According to the letters, the national team training camps did not allow parents to be present hence Maroney's parents were unable to observe what Nassar was doing.

They were not allowed to stay with McKayla during travel abroad and sometimes they were not even in the same hotel.

Erin wrote that her husband once questioned the propriety of the isolation of the girls during international travel. He was assured by Steve Penny that the girls were safe at all times, more safe than the president himself.

"We now know that this was a lie," Erin wrote. 

In Maroney's letter, the almost 22 year old former gymnast wrote that the sexual abuse started at the age of 13 at one of her first national team training camps, in Texas, and it didn't end until she left the sport.

The abuse happened before the team final in London where she won gold and before the vault final, where she won silver.

Maroney was the heavy favorite to win gold on vault at that time but a fall on her second vault had her settled for a silver. It is worth mentioning that Maroney had never fallen on this vault until the Olympic event finals.

"Our daughter was totally failed by USA Gymnastics, by Michigan State University and by the U.S. Olympic Committee. No one from the USOC has ever reached out to me or my husband or my daughter to inquire about her well being. Not once. No one has apologized," Erin Maroney wrote.

 "After McKayla spoke with an investigator with USA Gymnastics in July 2015, USA Gymnastics and the USOC kept the knowledge of [Nassar's] status as a child molester secret from Michigan State University after 2015 and even said nothing when he ran for school board in his local school district!"

According to the lawsuits, several victims raised concerns regarding Larry's treatments but they were dismissed.

"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," McKayla Maroney wrote.

"It is my hope that the federal and law state enforcement agencies will not close the book on Larry Nassar scandal after her receives his just punishment. It is time to hold the leadership of Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for allowing and in some cases enabling, his crime."

"Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long and it's time to take our power back."   

According to FBI agent, Nassar possesd 37,000 images and videos of child pornography, with images of girls as young as 6 or 7 being sexually violated.

"How many more images were on his computer at Michigan State University that he erased? Were McKayla's images on there? Were his other victims? Did he trade those images with other pedophiles? Are those images on the dark web today? These are questions that keep my husband and I up at night," Erin Maroney wrote. 

"I know this also haunts my daughter. Will she wake up one day to find an image of her 13-year-old self being assaulted on the internet? This is what our family must live with and it will never go away."

Nassar, who worked with USAG for nearly three decades and Michigan State University for nearly two decades, was given 60 years in prison of child abuse this week.

The disgraced doctor will be sentenced in the sexual abuse case in January.

Maroney is one of the most successful gymnasts, USA has ever produced. Beside her Olympic medals, she is three time World champion.

Her last competition was the 2013 World championship where she defended her World vault title. She officially announced her retirement in 2013.

In 2014, Maroney revealed in a Youtube video that she was battling depression and anxiety. During 2016 Gymcastic video interview, she said that she was mentally abused by her coaches, Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova.

Maroney's letter





Written by Gigi Farid




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