SPORTS GYM-USAGYMNASTICS-ASSAULT MS

From left, Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian, Lauren Hernandez, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas celebrate on the medal stand on August 9, 2016, at the Rio Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. women's squad captured the gold medal in the team competition.

Sexual assault against women in the workplace is one of the least talked about issues.

It happens more often than people think, which leads to a line of issues where women do not feel comfortable telling friends, family or authorities what happened to them. Too often, sexual assault cases go unsolved because women feel like authorities will not properly handle them.

According to a study done by ABC News-Washington Post, it found that more than half of all American women — 54 percent — have experienced “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances” at some point in their lives. Thirty percent of women have endured such behavior from male colleagues, and 23 percent identified men with sway over their careers as the culprits.

Larry Nassar, former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team physician, has been accused of sexual assault by 125, with more than half being USA gymnasts and has pleaded guilty to the charges. The charges will send him to prison for at least 25 years.

The plea to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct was by Nassar, who is a 54-year-old father of three and was one of the most respected sports physicians in gymnastics. He admitted that he often was not performing legitimate medical therapy when he touched his victims, often without gloves.

“For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” Nassar said during a hearing in Lansing, not far from the clinic on Michigan State's campus, where many of his accusers encountered him.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Nassar has been accused of sexual assault cases. He also faces similar charges in another county in Michigan and in federal court, where he is facing charges for three child pornography crimes he pleaded guilty to this summer.

Although Nassar apologized for his crimes, that still does not take away from the trust many of his patients put in him during their time as gymnasts. Because of his crime and selfishness, it will take the victims a lifetime of healing. Fortunately, Nassar will be getting what he deserves — being sent to prison to think about what he has done to innocent children.

Among Nassar’s victims are several gold-medal winning members of the notable “Fierce Five” team of American gymnasts, including Aly Raisman. The second USA Gymnast to speak out against Nassar’s sexual abuse was McKayla Maroney. She said Nassar sexually abused her while providing “necessary medical treatment.” This “treatment” started at age 13 and continued through the 2012 Olympics.

“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated.' It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” Maroney wrote.

Sexual assault should not be a tragic issue that women feel like they must push to the side because no one will listen to them. Nassar is getting everything he deserves by being sent to prison, and this will hopefully help women get the courage to speak out against horrible crimes such as sexual abuse.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.

 

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