Governor Abbott Orders Texas Rangers Investigation Into Troubling Allegations At Karolyi Ranch

Governor Abbott Orders Texas Rangers Investigation Into Troubling Allegations At Karolyi Ranch

Since 2016, athletes have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse while training at the facility, leading to the sentencing last week of former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Greg Abbott has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate misconduct allegations at the famed Karolyi Ranch, the U.S. Olympic training facility in Southeast Texas, north of Houston, where Nassar had treated athletes.

"The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gut-wrenching", writes Governor Abbott.

Mr. Abbott said that because criminal action might have involved multiple jurisdictions, "it is essential that the Texas Rangers work with the Walker County Sheriff's Office to comprehensively investigate all potential criminal conduct".

Gymnasts, including 2010 USA national champion Mattie Larson, spoke out about enduring abuse at the center while giving victim-impact statements before Larry Nassar, a former sports doctor, was sentenced last week to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty in a MI courtroom to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Last week, the Dallas Morning News reported that Nassar practiced medicine in Texas without a Texas medical license.

Last week, a MI judge sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison for multiple sexual assault convictions.

The Walker County Sheriff's Office is also now investigating the matter.

"There is an eerie feeling as soon as you step foot onto the Karolyi Ranch", gymnast Mattie Larson said during Nassar's sentencing hearing.

Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 150 women and girls. "It will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center", USA Gymnastics president and CEO Kerry Perry said in a statement.

Read Governor Abbott's full letter calling for an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

Atmosphere at Karolyi Ranch on January 26, 2011, in Huntsville, Texas. Maggie Nichols, Jantzi's star gymnast who, at 14, made the US women's national team, was speaking with Aly Raisman, captain of the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal-winning Olympic teams. The ranch was until recently a training camp for the nation's top gymnasts. The decision came three days after Olympic champion Simone Biles expressed dismay at having to attend camps there, where Biles says she was sexually abused by a former national team doctor.

U.S.A. Gymnastics cut ties with the ranch earlier this month after a groundswell of criticism of its handling of the Nassar allegations.

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