Rhonda Faehn says Steve Penny told her to keep quiet about Larry Nassar
On Tuesday, a Senate hearing regarding the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal took place, and several officials involved with the scandal on some level were there to testify in front of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security.
Among those who testified were former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny, former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and former USA Gymnastics senior vice president for women's programs Rhonda Faehn.
Written statements were provided by former USA Gymnastics national team coordinator Márta Karolyi and former United States Olympic Committee president Scott Blackmun. Both Karolyi and Blackmun stated that they could not attend the hearing due to medical reasons.
Faehn, who was just released by USA Gymnastics after two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman revealed that she told Faehn about the sexual assault that she was forced to endure at the hands of Nassar and more than 40 girls were sexually assaulted from that point until Nassar was actually arrested, claims that Penny told her to be quiet about Nassar.
Here is what Faehn had to say about the matter in her testimony, according to the New York Post.
“[Steve Penny] told me not to say anything or do anything because he was going to handle everything going forward and he told me he was going to report the concerns to proper authorities, which I assumed included law enforcement.”
Here is what former gymnast Emily Stebbins, who is one of the many people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault, had to say about Faehn, according to the New York Post.
“You just see all these little people thinking they did their thing, but no one took the one step that should have been taken, which is go to the police, or the authorities. The one thing one person could have done is do that. No one did that. You [Rhonda Faehn] see what Steve Penny did with the information. What should you have done further when you saw no action was being taken?”
Oklahoma University gymnast Maggie Nichols was the first gymnast who reported Nassar's predatory behavior to Faehn in the summer of 2015. Faehn reportedly told Penny about Nichols's accusations, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were not notified until nearly six weeks later.
Instead, USA Gymnastics hired a private investigator named Fran Sepler. They did not notify the FBI until after Raisman and fellow Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney also reported that Nassar had sexually assaulted them and, like Nichols, met with Sepler over a two-week span that summer.
As referenced above, it took nearly six weeks for USA Gymnastics to actually notify the FBI about Nassar's predatory behavior. The FBI then proceeded to take over one year to actually pursue the case.
Nassar is the disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 260 people, mostly female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment. He committed acts of sexual assault for over two decades.
The 54-year-old perpetrator of the largest sexual assault scandal in was given three lengthy prison sentences since this past December. As a result, he is set to spend his life behind bars.
Nassar was given 60-year federal prison sentence on three child pornography charges this past December. He is currently serving this sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
He was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom in January. Finally, he was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges in an Eaton County, Michigan courtroom in February.