Handel Calls for Comprehensive Investigation of Sexual Abuse of Olympic Gymnasts

January 25, 2018 \\ Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Karen Handel today publicly called for a comprehensive investigation of the sexual abuses of countless Olympic Gymnasts. In a formal letter, Rep. Handel requested that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte investigate the situation involving USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar and his sexual assault of more than 160 women over the past 25 years. Representative Handel, who is a member of Goodlatte's Judiciary Committee, also sent the letter to House leadership.

"With so many abused young women, it is clear that there existed a culture of institutionalized abuse within the USOC and USA Gymnastics and that a situation existed in which others no doubt had knowledge, yet turned a blind eye," Representative Handel said. "The sentencing of Larry Nassar is not the end to this story. Too many questions remain, and answers are needed to prevent this from happening again."

In the letter, Handel states that it is incumbent on the Committee to look into this matter as soon as possible in order to get answers from the USOC and USA Gymnastics, and to protect millions of young girls across America from facing this same fate.

"The victims deserve answers, and our future Olympic athletes deserve to know they are safe," Handel wrote. "A hearing in the Committee on the Judiciary is needed in order to determine the facts of what happened at the USOC and USA Gymnastics that allowed this abuse to continue over the span of 25 years."

On Wednesday, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his systematic abuse of at least 160 young women. These are the documented cases in which women came forward. All too often, however, there are more women who have not or cannot come forward in situations like this. 

"One of the things that makes our country great is that we stand up for what is right and true. It is only right that we pursue what is true," Representative Handel concluded. "What I also know to be true is that we must ensure these women and the American people have a full understanding of how this was allowed to happen and, most importantly, how to ensure such systematic, vile misconduct never happens again."

A copy of this letter can be obtained by emailing the Congresswoman's Communications Director, Wes Shaw, at Wesley.Shaw@mail.house.gov.