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The Boston Herald

 

Olympic gymnast and Needham native Aly Raisman — who has claimed she was a victim of sexual abuse by a team doctor — is blaming USA Gymnastics for failing to protect her and other athletes.

In an interview with "60 Minutes," the three-time gold medalist said Dr. Larry Nasser, who worked with the U.S. Women's National Team and Michigan State University for more than two decades, abused her. Nasser has been accused by more than 130 American women of sexual abuse. He is now in jail for possession of child pornography, but he has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted underage girls

"I was just really innocent," Raisman said during the broadcast last night. "I didn't really know. You know, you don't think that of someone. You know, so I just — I trusted him ... I didn't know anything differently. We were told he is the best doctor. He's the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him."

Raisman, 23, said she began seeing the doctor when she was 15.

"He would always bring me, you know, desserts or gifts. He would buy me little things," Raisman said. "So I really thought he was a nice person. I really thought he was looking out for me. That's why I want to do this interview. That's why I want to talk about it. I want people to know just because someone is nice to you and just because everyone is saying they're the best person, it does not make it OK for them to ever make you uncomfortable. Ever."

She now blames USA Gymnastics for not taking more action to prevent female athletes from abuse and is calling for changes in the organization to keep girls safe. She says the organization has a long-standing policy that adults should avoid being alone with a minor, but she says she was often alone with Nasser.

"Nobody ever educated me on, 'Make sure you're not alone with an adult.' You know, 'Make sure he's not making you uncomfortable.' I didn't know the signs," Raisman said. "I didn't know what sexual abuse really was. And I think that needs to be communicated to all of these athletes, no matter the age.

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November 13, 2017
 
 
 

 

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