IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The three champion gymnasts who broke the story of the two-decade alleged sexual abuse scandal in USA Gymnastics involving former Olympic Team doctor Larry Nassar on CBS 60 Minutes last February have launched a Change.org petition demanding removal of the Organization's top three officers. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is representing these women in civil actions against USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
The petition calls upon the US Olympic Committee and the principal sponsors of USA Gymnastics including Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Under Armour, Hershey's, NBC Sports and United Airlines to demand change in the organization's leadership.
"Change is being made in the leadership in major companies when sex abuse survivors step forward and say, "Me too," but this hasn't happened yet in USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley have focused their attention on money and medals while USA Gymnastics is attempting to cover up the largest child sex abuse scandal in the history of sports. They must be replaced by people who will put the health and safety of athletes first," says the petition.
Ms. Dantzscher, Ms. Howard and Ms. Antolin were among a handful of women who had reported alleged sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics and Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar in February of 2017 when their interview on CBS 60 Minutes was aired.
Since then, more than 140 girls and women have come forward to report similar incidents of sexual abuse. The United States Olympic Committee demanded the resignation of USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny in March 2017, immediately following the 60-Minutes broadcast. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi represents more than 100 of these alleged victims.
USAG Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder, Treasurer Bitsy Kelley and Former Board Member Mary Lou Retton defended Penny releasing a statement which said, "Steve Penny is among the strongest advocates for our athletes and has reported suspected instances of abuse to law enforcement himself..."
Penny resigned his position on March 16. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the organization gave Penny a million-dollar severance package.
"USAG Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley defended and enabled Steve Penny for years. Now, they are in-charge of selecting his replacement. It is clear that they intend to continue conducting business as usual which means placing money and medals ahead of the safety and well-being of athletes," said Jamie Dantzscher, 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist.
Members of the public are encouraged to sign the Change.Org petition at: http://chn.ge/2zm0WVn
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is California's leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US.
SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi