In October, McKayla Maroney revealed that she'd been molested by her team doctor, Larry Nassar. That makes her one of more than 140 survivors who accuse him of the same thing.
From the outset, it's been strongly hinted that there were people who knew about Nassar's sexual predation and kept quiet.
Now, McKayla's taking action against the people whom she accuses of covering up a monster in their midst.
McKayla is only one of many young women who have accused Dr. Nassar of molesting them when they were girls, preying upon them under the guise of "treatment."
Dr. Nassar has been sentenced for child porn charges, and has pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls.
Obviously, that's just a drop in the awful bucket beside the number of women who accuse him.
Wednesday, McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics.for the role that she says that they played in covering up Dr. Nassar's monstrous deeds.
As part of a financial settlement (of a reported sum of $1.25 million) so that McKayla could get needed psychological treatments, USA Gymnastics allegedly included a non-disclosure agreement.
Maroney's lawyer says that USA Gymnastics forced this provision so that "it could further conceal and shield from public scrutiny, outside investigation, and law enforcement, the true nature of Nassar's horrific sexual abuse of minors."
Dr. Nassar's misdeeds are not really in question. Again, this is a man who has already confessed to multiple counts of molestation.
"Plaintiff alleges that Defendant USAG had a plan to keep the sexual abuse of Nassar quiet, and allow Nassar to quietly leave USAG, further silencing his victims."
To be fair, apparently USA Gymnastics contacted the FBI with at least some information on Larry Nassar, but allegedly failed to raise any kind of public alarm.
Which may have allowed him to find new victims.
The NDA would then appear to be a measure intended to conceal any wrongdoing by USA Gymnastics -- hiding their mistake in hiring Nassar and also hoping to bury his misdeeds forever.
If you're thinking gee, how can McKayla speak up on this if she signed a non-disclosure agreement? ... well, funny thing about that.
(Funny probably isn't the right word, here)
McKayla Maroney lives in California, where survivors of child sexual abuse -- like McKayla -- cannot be forced to sign NDAs as part of a settlement.
Which is probably why McKayla's attorney, John Manly, had zero kind words to say about the agreement:
He referred to it as "hypocritical, immoral, and in this case illegal."
We're no legal scholars, but it sounds like he's right.
Manly had further choice words for USA Gymnastics, and specifically for whoever among them new about Dr. Nassar but allegedly prioritized avoiding public embarrassment, allowing him to go on and find new prey at the University of Michigan.
"Those responsible for this should be removed from the Olympic movement and USA Gymnastics."
That sounds fair. As punishment and as a deterrent, so that this will hopefully never happen again.
"If they would treat one of the most famous athletes in world like this, how poorly would they treat a recreational gymnast abused by her coach."
That's a really good point. McKayla Maroney is a household name. She's met the President. (Well, the good one, from last year)
Look at how hard McKayla is having to fight for justice, and she's a celebrity.
Someone with no celebrity status would surely be much more intimidated -- by Dr. Nassar and by any attempts to shush them by USA Gymnastics.
With more and more sex monsters being exposed every day, we hope that the world will become a safer place for women and girls.
But that's going to take time.
It's also going to take these predatory men, and the people who helped keep their secrets, facing real consequences.
That, we think, is what McKayla aims to do.