Texas Rangers To Investigate Famed Karolyi Ranch In Wake Of Larry Nassar Trial

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate misconduct allegations at the famed Karolyi Ranch, the East Texas training facility where Larry Nassar had treated athletes

Nearly a week after prominent USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison for the sexual assault of several female gymnasts, Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate misconduct allegations at the famed Karolyi Ranch, the U.S. Olympic training facility in southeast Texas, north of Houston, where Nassar treated athletes.

“The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gut-wrenching,” Abbott said in a statement Tuesday. “Those athletes, as well as all Texans, deserve to know that no stone is left unturned to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly vetted and the perpetrators and enablers of any such misconduct are brought to justice. The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less.”

Abbott ordered the Texas Rangers, the state’s top criminal investigations unit, to look into the Karolyi Ranch. It hosted training camps for more than a decade until earlier this year. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office is already investigating.

Several gymnasts have said Nassar abused them at the ranch.

Abbott called the allegations “gut-wrenching.” He ordered the state investigation because the claims involve multiple jurisdictions and states.

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison last week. More than 150 women and girls have said he had molested them under the guise of medical treatment.

Read Governor Abbott's full letter calling for an investigation by the Texas Rangers:

Karolyi Ranch, run by national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband Bela, was previously the national training center for the Women's National Gymnastics Team. The couple was accused of turning a blind eye to Nassar's abuse in a 2016 California lawsuit. U.S.A. Gymnastics ended its relationship with the ranch on Jan. 18 after Olympic champion Simone Biles, who said she was sexually abused there, said “it is impossibly difficult” to return to the site to train.

Nassar treated athletes at the ranch without a Texas medical license, the Dallas Morning News confirmed last week.

Last Wednesday, Nassar, who was a team doctor for decades, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. More than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them. That penalty came on top of a 60-year sentence for child pornography crimes.

Nassar was convicted of molesting female gymnasts — many Olympic athletes, some as young as 6 — for years under the guise of medical treatment.

His conviction has had reverberations across the sport. The entire board of U.S.A. Gymnastics resigned in the wake of the scandal. And Lou Anna K. Simon, the president of Michigan State University, where Nassar served on the faculty for years, resigned last week under intense scrutiny for the university's lack of oversight.

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