Article from INDYSTAR.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would require Olympic national governing bodies such as USA Gymnastics to immediately report allegations of child abuse to authorities.
Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Carmel, who sponsored the bill, said on the House floor that IndyStar’s yearlong investigation into the issue left her “shocked” and “inspired the legislation that’s before us today.”
The investigation revealed that Indy-based USA Gymnastics did not immediately report all allegations of child sex abuse and that some predatory coaches were able to move from gym to gym, leaving a trail of abuse. The report also revealed that at least 368 gymnasts alleged sexual abuse in the past 20 years.
“I’m proud of these brave gymnasts who shared their stories, stories that never should have happened, stories that went inexcusably unanswered,” Brooks said. “Their stories demand our action and our attention, not only to provide victims with the justice denied to them for so long, but also to protect future generations of Olympic hopefuls.”
The bill, HR 1973, passed 415-3.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
“It’s great news that the House has passed companion legislation to my bill to protect young athletes from sexual abuse,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Chairman (Bob) Goodlatte and Representatives Brooks and (Lois) Frankel to work out the differences between our bills. We must do all we can to protect children.”
If you or someone you care about was sexually abused and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.