Rio Olympic Games star Simone Biles says that Team USA gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her, too.
In a candid and emotional statement on social media, the 20-year-old American gymnast shared that she was one of the victims of sports doctor Larry Nassar and added that she would not let this define who she was or will be.
“I, too, am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar”, she tweeted on Monday, January 15. “There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now that it is not my fault.”
She said that for a long time, she wondered whether she had some form of accountability for the abuse that had occurred and she has come to the conclusion that it was, indeed, not her fault and she would not “carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG and others”.
Biles also shared that since she is currently working towards her goal of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she would have to regularly come back to the place she suffered the abuse. But she continued: “I know that this horrific experience does not define me. I am much more than this.”
Simone ended her statement saying that she was in the process of working through the trauma and asked for understanding and privacy.
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 15, 2018
Nassar pleaded guilty in November 2017 to 7 counts of sexual misconduct. During his plea hearing, he asked for forgiveness for his acts and added that his behavior was like a “match that turned into a forest fire”. His crimes date as early as 1998 and some of is victims were under the age of 13.
A Michigan judge will give Nassar’s sentence today, January 16.