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Gymnast Explains Why She Felt Nobody Would Believe She Was Sexually Assaulted

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Disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar already has been criminally charged with sexually abusing nine gymnasts, put in jail, and fired from his job at Michigan State. The university, which cleared Nassar in a 2014 complaint, also went ahead this year with another investigation—this from a complaint brought by one of the first women to come forward, Rachael Denhollander. It found “by a preponderance of the evidence” that Nassar had sexually harassed Denhollander in 2000, when Denhollander was a 15-year-old gymnast who came to him for medical treatment (the university’s definition of sexual harassment at the time included sexual assault).

The full investigative document was published yesterday, via PR Newswire, and it goes through Denhollander’s account, Nassar’s response, and interviews with several other people, including Denhollander’s mother. As part of the process, an initial report was done and Denhollander was given the chance to respond. In one response she explains in detail the many reasons, emotions, and fears that kept her silent for so long, until she she reached out to the Indianapolis Star last year.


She also reiterated her concerns about how Nassar’s prominence made her feel nobody would believe her.


The full report is below.

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Diana Moskovitz

Senior editor at Deadspin

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