During Dateline NBC's hourlong special called "Silent No More", which aired on Sunday, April 22 at 7:00 pm ET, two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman of Needham, Massachusetts dropped a bombshell accusation against USA Gymnastics.
The 23-year-old six-time Olympic medalist revealed during the documentary that USA Gymnastics offered her a settlement, which included confidentiality, so that she would not talk about the sexual assault that she was forced to endure at the hands of Larry Nassar.
Nassar is the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 260 people, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for roughly two decades before he was finally arrested in December of 2016.
"Silent No More" pertained solely to the Nassar sexual assault scandal. Nassar was sentenced to prison three separate times, which will essentially keep him locked up for life.
His first sentence, which he is currently serving at United States Penitentiary Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, a maximum-security federal prison that offers a sex offender program for sexual predators such as Nassar, is a 60-year sentence that he was given this past December on three child pornography charges.
He was also given two state prison sentences in January and February. The first of those two sentences was for between 40 and 175 years on seven sexual assault charges, and the second of those two sentences was for between 40 and 125 more years on three more sexual assault charges.
In total, Nassar has between 140 and 360 years in prison ahead of him, which means that he will never be on the outside of a prison wall again.
Here is what Raisman had to say about the matter involving the settlement that USA Gymnastics wanted her to agree to, according to NBC.
"They did offer me a settlement, but with confidentiality in it, so obviously I said no. From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted to talk about this."
As we know from the fact that USA Gymnastics forced former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney to sign a non-disclosure agreement and paid her $1.25 million for it, they were primarily interested in saving face as this scandal unfolded.
USA Gymnastics did not want a high-profile gymnast to go public with sexual assault allegations against Nassar as a result of the fact that that would draw attention to the scandal and ruin the institution's reputation, so at the end of the day, it is not exactly surprising to hear that they also wanted Raisman to agree to a settlement involving confidentiality.
However, this is still a major development because of the fact that after USA Gymnastics denied trying to silence Maroney, even though that is exactly what they did, they denied using non-disclosure agreements for everyone except Maroney.
While Raisman ultimately did not allow USA Gymnastics to do so with her, the fact remains that they tried to get her to do so, which does not bode well for them, especially with other evidence that more non-disclosure agreements were used by them to keep Nassar's victims silent about the sexual assault that they were forced to endure at his hands.
With how vocal Raisman has been about holding institutions such as USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University accountable for enabling Nassar's abuse like they did for so many years, it's hard to imagine where we would be had she agreed to keep quiet about the sexual assault that she was forced to endure at Nassar's hands.