368 US Gymnasts, Some as Young as 6, Have Report Sexual Abuse Over The Past 20 Years
Posted 15 December 2016 - 12:34 PM
No one knows exactly how many children have been sexually exploited in Americas gyms over the past 20 years. But an IndyStar-USA TODAY Network review of hundreds of police files and court cases across the country provides for the first time a measure of just how pervasive the problem is.
At least 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics. Thats a rate of one every 20 days. And it's likely an undercount.
IndyStar previously reported that top officials at USA Gymnastics, one of the nations most prominent Olympic organizations, failed to alert police to many allegations of sexual abuse that occurred on their watch and stashed complaints in files that have been kept secret. But the problem is far worse. A nine-month investigation found that predatory coaches were allowed to move from gym to gym, undetected by a lax system of oversight, or dangerously passed on by USA Gymnastics-certified gyms.
USA Gymnastics and Penny have taken other steps to keep details of abuse cases secret. The organization as well as individual member gyms have entered confidentiality agreements as part of settlements in negligence cases with gymnasts claiming abuse."
Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:25 PM
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