The Latest: Former USA Gymnastics president takes the Fifth
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a congressional hearing into the sexual abuse scandal involving USA Gymnastics and former team doctor Larry Nassar (all times local):
The former president of USA Gymnastics has refused to answer questions from a Senate subcommittee about his handling of allegations of sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Steve Penny invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination six times before he was excused by the panel on Tuesday. As he slowly limped out of the hearing room, former gymnast Amy Moran shouted “Shame!” in his direction. Moran alleges she was abused by her former coach and complained to Penny. She was unsatisfied with Penny’s response to the allegations.
Penny was subpoenaed to appear before the committee. Senators asked him when he found out about the abuse allegations and why he waited to inform law enforcement or Nassar’s employer, Michigan State University.
Penny was told of an athlete’s allegation against Nassar in June 2015. Nassar was not arrested until more than a year later.
Penny has been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits by athletes who were victimized by Nassar. His attorney, Robert Bittman, cited “matters that attempt to wrongly shift blame for Nassar’s crimes” in explaining why his client did not testify.
This item has been corrected to show that former gymnast Amy Compton goes by her maiden name, Amy Moran, and that she alleges abuse by her former coach, not Larry Nassar.
The former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics says she was instructed to keep quiet after she informed her boss about allegations of sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Rhonda Faehn made the allegation in written testimony to a Senate subcommittee, which held a hearing Tuesday to examine what went wrong at the sport’s governing body that allowed Nassar to abuse hundreds of athletes over two decades. Nassar is now serving decades in prison.
Faehn said she first reported an athlete’s allegation against Nassar on June 17, 2015, to her boss, former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny.
Nassar was not arrested until more than a year later.
Penny was subpoenaed to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, as was former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon. Nassar was employed by Michigan State during his time as the USA Gymnastics doctor.