David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Texas state law enforcement officials will investigate allegations of sexual assault at the Karolyi Ranch, the former national gymnastics training center near Houston, the state’s governor announced Tuesday.
Governor Greg Abbott said he asked the Texas Rangers to investigate accusations by scores of women that they were sexually assaulted by Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, a former U.S.A. Gymnastics team doctor who treated athletes at the ranch and elsewhere. The women have said they were abused by Dr. Nassar under the guise of medical treatment, both at the ranch, in Walker County, Tex., and at Michigan State University, where he was a member of the staff.
U.S.A. Gymnastics cut ties with the ranch earlier this month after a groundswell of criticism of its handling of the Nassar allegations. Many athletes, including Olympians like Simone Biles, said they were dismayed that they would have to return to ranch for national team training.
“The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gut-wrenching,” Mr. Abbott said. “Those athletes, as well as all Texans, deserve to know that no stone is left unturned to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly vetted and the perpetrators and enablers of any such misconduct are brought to justice.”
Mr. Abbott said that because criminal action might have involved multiple jurisdictions, “it is essential that the Texas Rangers work with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to comprehensively investigate all potential criminal conduct.”
Dr. Nassar will be back in court on Wednesday in Eaton County, Mich., where he faces sentencing on three more counts of criminal sexual conduct. He has already been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Ingham County in a separate case, and to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges.
Source: The New York Times