In her first TV interview with NBC News Sunday night, Olympian McKayla Maroney said she told then-Olympic coach, John Geddert in 2011 that Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her.
It was a conversation Maroney said she started with the former Twistars Gymnastics Club owner, as he drove her and her teammates to a hotel after a competition in Japan.
It was one day after Maroney said the sexual assault happened. “It was like Larry was fingering me,” she described in the interview to NBC, adding that Geddert did not react.
But the other gymnasts did, she said. Those gymnasts were Olympians Ali Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, who have both previously confirmed this conversation took place.
Vince Finaldi, one of Maroney’s attorneys, said there are still many questions that remain unanswered.
“Number one, if he [Geddert] would have taken action we might not be here today,” Finaldi said. “He may have taken action, which in many ways, is just as bad because he may have told USAG or other entities, and they may have done nothing about it. We really don’t know the answer. What we do know is that the foundational information that McKayla did tell someone who was in control, and that’s really important.”
The former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor was given a life sentence of 40 to 175 years in prison for admitting to sexually abusing young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.
He’s currently serving his 60-year prison sentence in Arizona for possessing child pornography.
The conversation Maroney said took place seven years ago, isn’t the first time someone has said they also told Geddert about Nassar’s sexual abuse.
During Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Ingham County, one parent said Geddert was made aware of Nassar’s behavior back in the ‘90’s.
A year before that, during a preliminary examination, one gymnast testified that Geddert allegedly walked in the room while Nassar was performing said “treatment” on her, and made a joke about it.
In addition to being sued by hundreds of women in a massive lawsuit, Geddert is also being criminally investigated by the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office for claims of physical child abuse. A crime he’s been accused of twice before, as documents reveal the Michigan State Police have previously launched two separate investigations.
Both times, charges were denied. In the most recent case, Geddert was ordered to attend counseling instead.
Several gymnasts also say Geddert mandated that all the female gymnasts see Nassar for treatment.
USA Gymnastics suspended Geddert earlier this year saying he violated the organizations “Safe Sport Policy.”
6 News reached out to Geddert’s attorney for comment on this story, but did not hear back.
However, through lawsuits, Geddert has maintained that he was “fooled” by Nassar, his long-time friend, just like everyone else was.
For the first time since news of Nassar broke, Bela and Martha Karolyi, former coaches and coordinators of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, responded to several of the allegations detailed in lawsuits against them.
In the interview with NBC on Sunday, the couple said they were not aware that Nassar was sexually abusing gymnasts.
They also claim they did not create an abusive environment for gymnasts at the Karolyi ranch, which served as the U.S. Gymnastics training center.
In January, USA Gymnastics terminated its agreement with the facility, something its CEO, Kerry Perry said she’s wanted to do since becoming the organizations CEO.
“Our most important priority is our athletes, and their training environment must reflect this,” Perry wrote in a tweet. “We are committed to a culture that empowers and supports our athletes.”
But even though the Karolyi’s denied creating any kind of abusive environment for gymnasts, Olympian Mattie Larson painted a much different picture earlier this year, when she gave a very emotional victim impact statement during Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Ingham County.
Larson was a member of the 2010 World Championships team that won a silver medal. She was also recognized as the 2010 Covergirl Classic All-Around champion and named “Athlete of the month for November 2007” by the USOC.
“I was willing to physically hurt myself to get out of the abuse that I received at the ranch,” Larson admitted in her statement.
She also described a time when she tried to fake a concussion by banging the back of her head against the bathtub, just so she could avoid the training facility.
“I was broken,” she said. “Larry, my coaches, and USA Gymnastics turned the sport I fell in love with as a kid, into my personal living hell.”
In a detailed response on Sunday, USA Gymnastics responded to the interviews displayed on NBC.
“USA Gymnastics is sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career, and we are committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports our athletes and focuses on our highest priority, which is the safety and well-being of our athletes,” the statement says. “We hope everything we do going forward makes this very clear.”