Victims of disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar demand action from Texas AG
Victims of sexual abuse under renowned doctor Larry Nassar say USA Gymnastics coaches Martha and Bela Karolyi, knew about the abuse and did not report.
“Were you ever advised by any USAG official in or around June of 2015 that they had received a complaint that doctor Nassar had molested a team gymnast at the ranch?
“I object to the scope. It is exceeding the purpose of this deposition.”
“I'll allow you to answer just that question.
Karolyi: Yes I did.
Kayla Spicher started gymnastics when she was 8 and also trained for the elite team. She says the abuse began when she was ten...and Nassar made the experiences appear to be normal by saying what a typical doctor might say.
"You're going to feel some pressure,” she said describing Nassar’s words while molesting her.
“It got to the point to where it was something I knew was happening when I got there,” said Spicher.
Authorities say the abuse went on for nearly 20 years. some of the gymnasts would train at the Karolyi ranch. Lindsey Lemke reflects on her time attending the ranch.
“I didn't even know what he was doing to me. I thought that was normal treatment,” said Lemke.
Thursday, a handful of the survivors and their attorneys came to Austin, demanding Attorney General Ken Paxton take action against the Karolyis. They claim the couple violated child protection statues by not reporting the abuse.
“If you look at cases that involve this number of victims, multiple jurisdictions, federal and state law enforcement, it makes sense the head attorney in the state would be involved in that investigation and prosecution,” said Michelle Simpson Tiegle, attorney for victims.
In a statement the attorney for the Karolyis, Greg Jewell says Martha Karolyi did receive a call in June 2015 informing her Nassar would no longer be on the USAG treatment team because of "treatment concerns.” He goes on to say in his statement that reads in part:
"Martha was never informed during this particular phone call that the "treatment concerns" raised by gymnasts were actually sexual misconduct allegations, nor was any particular athlete identified."
Jewell also says Karolyi mispoke in the May 2017 deposition video. The victims and their attorneys aren't convinced.
“I haven't seen anyone formally charged, indicted, arrested, no search warrants. No one has had search warrants executed at the ranch and electronic devices,” said Tiegle.