LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of the sexual abuse victims of Dr. Larry Nassar is calling for investigations into the FBI and Indianapolis Metro Police.
Rachel Denhollander, who lives in Louisville now, is the woman who broke the story to the Indianapolis Star in 2016. She detailed several occasions where she was sexually assaulted and abused by Nassar, who was the team doctor for USA Gymnastics at the time based at Michigan State University.
The accusations were the first of dozens to come and they eventually culminated in Nassar being found guilty of several charges of sexual assault, child porn, and many other charges that will see Nassar spend the rest of his life in prison.
However, the buck doesn’t stop there for Denhollander. She told our news gathering partners at WISH-TV that USA Gymnastics is just as accountable for what happened as Nassar is.
“They absolutely should be disbanded,” Denhollander said. “The problem of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse has been discussed within USA Gymnastics for decades. Literally decades.”
Denhollander tells her story in it’s entirety in a new book she wrote called “What Is A Girl Worth?”. She also accused the FBI and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department of trying to help USA Gymnastics cover up the scandal.
“There needs to be an investigation into what’s going on at IMPD,” she told WISH-TV.
Denhollander accused then USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny of working with Bruce Smith, who was a supervisor with IMPD’s child abuse unit when the story broke. She said the two were friends and that a report commissioned by USA Gymnastics revealed texts between the two.
“We have the IMPD, who was collaborating with Steve Penny,” she continued. “We have emails back and forth from the IMPD even helping Steve Penny cover some of these things up.”
Furthermore, she said the FBI helped in that cover up.
“The FBI didn’t investigate Larry (Nassar),” she said. “What the FBI did was let him continue sexually assaulting children for 16 months.”
The first accusations of sexual abuse by Nassar were first reported the the FBI in Indianapolis in 2015, according to Denhollander. Like Bruce Smith, Denhollander said Steve Penny was also close with Jay Abbott, then head of the FBI’s office in Indianapolis.
“Jay Abbott was recommended for a job at USOC that Penny recommended him for that he found, quote, very tantalizing, after he and Penny had drinks,” Denhollander explained.
She credits Michigan State University Police for finding the evidence that implicated Nassar.
Now, Denhollander hopes tell the next generation of little girls that they need to speak up in situations like what she faced. He conveys that message in a children’s book she wrote called “How Much is a Little Girl Worth?”. She hopes both books she has written shed light on abuse culture.
Interview by WISH-TV’s Demie Johnson