Former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney is the latest gymnast to come forward with claims of sexual abuse by the former doctor. Maroney revealed on Twitter that she was inspired by the latest trending hashtag #MeToo, that was started by actress Alyssa Milano and asks people to share their encounters with sexual assault and harassment.
Maroney took to Twitter early Wednesday morning where she detailed years of alleged sexual abuse by Larry Nassar during her time as a gymnast.
Nassar is a former doctor who was highly-renowned in the world of gymnastics for years. The former doctor is now being accused of sexually abusing more than 100 women, many of the victims allege that the doctor sexually abused them during routine medical exams.
Despite the allegations recently making media headlines, the accusations against Nassar began coming to surface in September 2016. Most of the women who have spoken out against Nassar are current or former athletes. What makes the allegations even worse is that some of the women coming forward claim that they were as young as 12 at the time of Nassar’s abuse.
Maroney went on with more detail on her various accounts of sexual abuse by Nassar.
“Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,‘” Maroney wrote.
“It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’”
Maroney became popular as part of the Fierce Five who competed in the Summer 2012 Olympics. The former gymnast admitted to being sexually abused by Nassar during the 2012 Olympics.
However, one of the more shocking details of her alleged sexual abuse happened when she was 15 years old when Maroney says Nassar gave her a sleeping pill on a flight to Tokyo.
“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old,” she wrote.
“I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”
Maroney didn’t just share her harrowing story without making sure to suggest some actionable steps to combatting sexual abuse.
“Is it possible to put an end to this type of abuse? Is it possible for survivors to speak out, without putting careers, and dreams in jeopardy? I hope so,” she wrote.
“Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it’s time to take our power back. And remember, it’s never too late to speak up.”