“To all adults or coaches tasked with caring for our young athletes: when a child entrusts you with reports of sexual abuse, you report immediately.”
Oct 18 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security with jurisdiction over the health and safety of USA Gymnastics, US Olympic and NCAA athletes – today released the following statement regarding the indictment and arrest of former USA Gymnastics President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Penny:
“Steve Penny’s indictment and arrest further illustrate what we already knew to be true — under Penny’s leadership, USA Gymnastics went to great lengths to alleviate its institutional liability in response to sexual misconduct by Larry Nassar, when that effort should have been spent protecting young athletes. This indictment, coupled with Penny’s unwillingness to cooperate in our subcommittee’s investigation, highlights the systemic leadership issues within USAG that survivors have been sharing with us for months. It is imperative USAG secures leadership that first and foremost supports the well-being of its athletes. To all adults or coaches tasked with caring for our young athletes: when a child entrusts you with reports of sexual abuse, you report immediately.”
Background information regarding Sen. Moran’s Subcommittee’s investigation:
- In Sen. Moran’s Commerce Subcommittee hearing on June 5, 2018, former USA Gymnastics President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Penny invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions from the subcommittee.
- During the June 5 hearing, former USA Gymnastics Women’s Program Director Rhonda Faehn told the subcommittee that Penny had instructed another USA Gymnastics employee to remove gymnasts’ medical records from the Karolyi Ranch – a well-known former USAG training facility in Texas – after learning law enforcement was investigating allegations of sexual assault by former USAG doctor Larry Nassar. Then-USA Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer Kerry Perry confirmed this during a July 24, 2018 subcommittee hearing.
- This revelation ultimately led to former USA Gymnastics President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Penny’s indictment. Penny was arrested last night, Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in Tennessee by U.S. Marshals on a warrant for tampering with evidence related to a Karolyi Ranch investigation.
- In January, Sen. Moran and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) launched a bipartisan investigation into USAG, the United States Olympic Committee and Michigan State University regarding systemic failures to protect athletes from sexual abuse and the reported filing of a non-disclosure agreement to silence a victim of abuse. Sens. Moran and Blumenthal have held a number of hearings to discuss the role of National Governing Bodies (NGB) in protecting our athletes, steps NGBs must take to prevent abuse in Olympic and amateur athletics, how to empower amateur athletes and to examine abuse prevention efforts across the Olympic movement.
- For more information on Sen. Moran’s ongoing investigation, click here.