On July 21, 2015, a day before USA Gymnastics apprised Larry Nassar of the allegations against him, USAG CEO Steve Penny wrote and sent to himself what he would later describe as a “stream of consciousness” email setting forth his thoughts on the contemplated conversation with Nassar.
The contents of that defential email, written after Penny had been told about a sexual abuse allegation against Nassar, are included in the Ropes & Gray report about the Nassar scandal, a copy of which was read by USA TODAY before it was released to the public Monday afternoon.
Penny’s email-to-self included his thoughts in the form of a list:
Contact by attorneys
Concerns brought forward about techniques
Massage under their garments
Concern about this technique with young female athletes
No formal complaint
No formal investigation
Have not contacted law enforcement
Need to sort through this in a respectful and private manner
Distance from USA Gymnastics and the athletes
Not involved in camps or competitions
Set up a meeting to discuss with Larry that involves legal counsel if desired as soon as possible
Resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction so long as nothing aggregious (sic) has taken place.
Everyone’s interest to cooperate.”
As the report says, “At the time he sent this email to himself – apparently proposing to advise Nassar that there was ‘no formal complaint’ against him and ‘no formal investigation,’ that the goal was to ‘sort through this in a respectful and private manner’ and ‘resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction so long as nothing (egregious) has taken place,’ with everyone having an ‘interest to cooperate’” – USAG had retained a workplace investigator with experience interviewing survivors of sexual abuse.The investigator, Fran Sepler, “was then actively investigating athlete complaints, and Mr. Penny had been apprised of allegations that Nassar had digitally penetrated at least one athlete on three separate occasions.”
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