A new investigation released by the Indianapolis Star has uncovered some tragic information with regards to USA Gymnastics, the organization overseeing over 121,000 athletes and 3,000 gyms across the country.
According to the investigation's findings, the mega organization has unfortunately failed to report complaints regarding sexual abuse against at least 50 of its coaches.
The unreported complaints against the coaches date as far back as 1998. At least four of the many complaints on file were about coach William McCabe, including this one from former gym owner, Jan Guinipero:
And this one from former gym owner, Dan Dickey:
Yes, that's right. You read that correctly. Mr. Dickey recommends that Coach McCabe should be "locked in a cage before someone is raped."
And that complaint didn't seem alarming enough to be reported. He even continued to coach women for SEVEN more years, despite confirmation from federal authorities that he began molesting his students in 1999.
McCabe was finally federally charged in 2006. What was he charged with? Molesting gymnasts, secretly videotaping them changing and even posting their naked pictures online. He pleaded guilty and is now serving a 30-year sentence.
His report to the authorities was not initiated by USAG, nor were the reports of three other coaches who all eventually were convicted of respective charges of touching a 12-year-old gymnast's vagina and taking sexually explicit photos, sexual battery and child molestation.
USAG president Steve Penny declined an interview with the IndyStar for the report but he did release the following statement,
USA Gymnastics has a long and proactive history of developing policy to protect its athletes and will remain diligent in evaluating new and best practices which should be implemented. We recognize our leadership role is important and remain committed to working with the entire gymnastics community and other important partners to promote a safe and fun environment for children.
Call me crazy but ignoring complaints about a coach who should be "locked in a cage before someone is raped" doesn't quite seem like promoting a "safe and fun environment for children."
Citations: USA Gymnastics Allegedy Knew of Sexual Abuse of Child Gymnasts for Years, Never Contacted Authorities (Cosmopolitan), A blind eye to sex abuse: How USA Gymnastics failed to report cases (Indianapolis Star)