Former Florida, Team USA gymnast files new lawsuit against Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics

Yahoo Sports Contributor
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A former Team USA gymnast filed a new lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her multiple times and is one of the reasons she didn’t make the Olympic team. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A former Team USA gymnast filed a new lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her multiple times and is one of the reasons she didn’t make the Olympic team. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A former Florida and Team USA gymnast filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that Larry Nassar is, in part, why she failed to make the Olympic team in 2012.

Kennedy Baker became the latest gymnast to speak out and file a lawsuit against Nassar and USA Gymnastics when she filed her civil lawsuit in Superior Court in Santa Clara County, California. She alleged that Nassar sexually abused her multiple times and that USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee failed to prevent Nassar’s sexual abuse, according to the Dallas Morning News. The civil suit also named former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny — who was arrested on tampering charges in the Nassar case last month — as a defendant.

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Baker, who graduated from Florida in June, was a member of USA Gymnastics from 2004-2014, and a member of the U.S. national team from 2012-2014. She said that Nassar assaulted her multiple times while she was on the national team, and alleged that the abuse started during her first visit with Nassar while she was in her mid-teens.

“At the very first visit, Dr. Nassar sexually abused Ms. Baker by touching her vagina without the use of gloves, without lubricants, without her consent, and without any chaperone present,” the lawsuit reads.

Baker alleges in the lawsuit that she was treated by Nassar six times over two years, and “believes she was assaulted by Dr. Nassar” during every treatment.

She also told the Dallas Morning News that she blames her failure to make the Olympic team at the 2012 Olympic Trials in part because she was nervous after being molested by Nassar during treatment just 30 minutes before competing.

“I was at my peak at such a close point, and I barely missed it,” Baker told the Dallas Morning News.

Baker sought treatment from Nassar for injuries to her knee and leg muscles, and the lawsuit stated that “her vaginal area had no physiological or other medical relation to her injury.” It also alleged that Nassar performed “vulgar massages of her private parts under the guise of ‘medical treatment,'” and that he would “sweat profusely and pant” while treating her.

“I was weirded out,” Baker told the Dallas Morning News about her feelings after her first treatment. “I thought, ‘That can’t be normal.'”

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics from 1986-2015, and was sentenced to 175 years in prison on child pornography charges and for sexually abusing girls under his care throughout his career earlier this year. More than 168 victims of his abuse spoke out about his abuse during his sentencing hearing earlier this year.

The move to come forward now, Baker said, came simply after hearing similar stories and testimony of other gymnasts who were assaulted by Nassar.

“It’s important to change the whole culture to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Baker told the Dallas Morning News. “If my story can help, then that’s why I want to come forward.”

She also shared part of her story on Twitter on Wednesday night.



The U.S. Olympic Committee and Penny didn’t respond to requests for comment from the Dallas Morning News. USA Gymnastics said only that it “does not comment on pending litigation.”

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