Six Republicans and 12 Democratic lawmakers have signed onto legislation to establish a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics handling of sexual abuse allegations against former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., says she's hopeful Senate leaders will back the effort once the chamber has dealt with an array of critical issues, namely keeping the federal government running. But she has not yet received a commitment.
Nassar molested girls, including many gymnasts, who sought treatment for injuries. He is serving a 60-year prison sentence for child pornography crimes and has been sentenced twice to at least 40 years in Michigan prison for sexual assault, punishments that wouldn't start unless the 54-year-old outlives the federal sentence.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, says Nassar's conviction doesn't end the matter. She says lawmakers want to know why the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics didn't remove Nassar when abuse allegations were reportedly first brought to their attention.
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In addition to lawmakers initating an investigation, USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday it would be taking steps to address those who have suffered from sexual abuse in a press release.
The foundation will establish the Athlete Assistance Fund, in cooperation with the National Gymnastics Foundation, to provide the financial means and guidance for gymnasts that have suffered sexual abuse in the sport of gymnastics to obtain counseling services, according to the press release.