AMERICAN Olympic champion Aly Raisman has revealed disgusting allegations against the “monster” facing allegations of sexual abuse by more than 130 women.
The 23-year-old three-time Olympic gold-medallist has revealed she was sexually abused by “master manipulator” Dr Larry Nassar, the doctor of USA Gymnastics for more than 30 years.
The floor exercise Olympic champion alleged in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes in the United States she was first abused as a 15-year-old.
Nassar, who is in jail and awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of possessing child pornography, denies he sexually assaulted underage girls and is awaiting trial for separate charges of criminal sexual conduct.
Raisman’s interview with 60 minutes reveals she was “brainwashed” as a teenager and then manipulated into staying silent for almost eight years — until now.
In a follow-up interview with NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday (AEDT), Raisman revealed horrific details of what she went through.
“He’s a monster,” she said.
“It’s so disturbing to think about what he did to me and so many other girls.
“This is so much bigger than just me. It’s such a horrific thing to happen. I stand here with all the other survivors who have been abused by Larry, and other people who have been abused by anyone.”
She revealed to 60 minutes she was sexually abused by Nassar while she received treatment during moments when they were alone together.
“I would lie on the table, my hands involuntarily balling themselves into fists as his ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing,” Raisman wrote in her new book Fierce.
“Treatment sessions with him always made me feel tense and uncomfortable.”
60 minutes reported other alleged victims of Nassar claim the doctor informed them they required necessary treatment for hip and back issues which involved the disgraced doctor placing an “ungloved hand” inside their vagina.
USA Gymnastics has released a statement reiterating the organisation did not know of any allegations against Nassar until 2015, when it launched an internal investigation, which resulted in Nassar’s employment being terminated.
Raisman says the governing body did not and still has not done enough to protect its athletes from similar threats.
She said it was not until the investigation was launched in 2015 that she realised she had been a victim of sexual assault on more than one occasion since the age of 15.
Raisman said she was “innocent” and thought the USA Gymnastics doctor “was just looking out for me.”
“I was just really innocent. I didn’t really know. You know, you don’t think that of someone. … I trusted him,” Raisman told CBS’ 60 Minutes in an interview aired on Monday (AEDT).
Raisman said she thought team doctor Larry Nassar, who spent nearly 30 years with the organisation and began treating her when she was just 15, was providing medical care, The New York Post reports.
“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,” she said.
The gold medallist said she had no idea that Nassar, who has also been accused of sexual abuse by fellow American gymnastic star McKayla Maroney, gained their trust by building an emotional bond with the athletes.
“He would always bring me, you know, desserts or gifts. He would buy me little things. So I really thought he was a nice person. I really thought he was looking out for me,” she told CBS.
Raisman said she came forward about Nassar to warn others to always be on guard.
“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 okay for them to ever make you uncomfortable. Ever,” she said.
She blames USA Gymnastics, which has a standing policy against adults being alone with minors, for not looking out for her and the other athletes.
“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. 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,” she said.
She is continuing to call for change at the top of USA Gymnastics in a bid to make sure nobody else has to suffer what she went through.