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Steve Penny pleads the Fifth at Larry Nassar scandal Senate hearing

Asher Fair
61   //    06 Jun 2018, 13:29 IST

Former U.S. Gymnastics Officials Testify To Senate Committee On Preventing Abuse And Ensuring Safe Environment For Athletes
Former U.S. Gymnastics Officials Testify To Senate Committee On Preventing Abuse And Ensuring Safe Environment For Athletes

A Senate hearing regarding the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, the largest sexual assault scandal in sports history, took place on Tuesday.

Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny was one of those who testified in front of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security. Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and former USA Gymnastics senior vice president for women's programs Rhonda Faehn also did so.

Written statements were provided by former United States Olympic Committee president Scott Blackmun and former USA Gymnastics national team coordinator Márta Karolyi. Both Blackmun and Karolyi stated that they could not attend the hearing due to medical reasons.

However, Penny refused to answer questions about the Nassar scandal and invoked his Fifth Amendment right. Here is what he had to say, according to NBC News.

"I would like to answer your question but I have been instructed by my attorney to assert my rights under the Fifth Amendment."

Here is how Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal responded, according to USA Today.

“I respect your right to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege. You have that right. But you also have a responsibility. You were part of an organization that in effect prioritize medals and money over the young women and girls, some of them here today, who were sexually abused by Mr. Nassar. And in fact, in the absence of your testimony, documents will speak for you.”

In total, Penny pleaded the Fifth six times before leaving the hearing. As he left, Amy Compton, one of the gymnasts who was sexually assaulted by Nassar, shouted at him.

Kaylee Lorincz, another gymnast who Nassar sexually assaulted, had this to say on Twitter about Penny after he left.

Nassar is the perpetrator of the largest sexual assault scandal in sports history who has been in national headlines over the past few months for his crimes and for the prison sentences that he has been given.

He is the 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 at least two decades.

Nassar, 54, was given three lengthy prison sentences, which means that he is set to spend the rest of his life behind bars, since this past December. The first of these three prison sentences that he was given is the one he is currently serving at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.

Nassar is currently serving a 60-year federal prison sentence that he was given on three child pornography charges this past December. He was then given two lengthy state prison sentences in January in February.

In January, Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom. In February, 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.

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Asher Fair
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