Tuesday marked the first of a four-day scheduled sentencing hearing for convicted pedophile and former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina is allowing Nassar’s victims to confront him over his crimes which can land him 125 years in prison for sexual abuse charges in addition to 60 years he’s already facing for a child pornography conviction. Almost 100 women are expected to do so.
Former USA gymnast and gold and silver medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games in London McKayla Maroney, who said Nassar started abusing her when she was 13 under the guise of medical treatment, could be one of those women.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” Maroney wrote in a statement revealing the abuse she endured. “It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver.”
But she signed a non-disclosure agreement with USA Gymnastics as part of a $1.25 million settlement the organization made forbidding her from speaking publicly about his abuses.
That disclosure came with a $100,000 fine attached for Maroney if she does decide to speak out. The news of the fine prompted Sports Illustrated model and Internet activist Chrissy Teigen on Tuesday to offer to pay Maroney’s fine to allow her to speak out without financial consequence.
The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla. pic.twitter.com/lsBEgEqZpD
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 16, 2018
The public pressure on USA Gymnastics apparently had an effect, as USA Today reported late Tuesday that the organization released a statement that it will decline to seek money from Maroney if she does choose to confront Nassar.
“USA Gymnastics has not sought and will not seek any money from McKayla Maroney for her brave statements made in describing her victimization and abuse by Larry Nassar, nor for any victim impact statements she wants to make to Larry Nassar at this hearing or at any subsequent hearings related to his sentencing,” the statement reads, per USA Today.
“This has been her right, and USA Gymnastics encourages McKayla and anyone who has been abused to speak out. USA Gymnastics remains focused on our highest priority — the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and creating a culture that empowers and supports them.”
Maroney isn’t the only prominent U.S. gymnast to reveal she was abused by Nassar. Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, all Olympic medalists, have also said they were abused by their team doctor.
Maroney sued USA Gymnastics, along with the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State, where Nassar also worked, in December over the NDA. Maroney’s lawyers called the NDA illegal in California because it involved the abuse of a minor. They also said the organizations failed to take action to prevent Nassar from perpetrating his crimes.
“During the period McKayla Maroney was being sexually abused and harassed by Nassar, defendants had the authority and ability to prevent such abuse by removing Nassar from his position as team physician at Team USA, USAG (USA Gymnastics) and in his status with the USOC,” legal documents read. “They failed to do so, allowing the abuse to occur and to continue unabated.”
In addition to his criminal proceedings, Nassar is being sued by more than 140 women.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Police: Washington State QB dead in apparent suicide
• Trump vs. athletes comparisons inspire ‘girther’ theories
• In historic move, Koreas agree to joint Olympic team
• Kaepernick to complete generous charity pledge