3 USA Gymnastics board members resign in wake of Nassar sex abuse scandal

Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, is escorted by a court officer during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, January 17, 2018. (REUTERS Photo)

The executive leadership of USA Gymnastics' board of directors has resigned in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former U.S. team doctor Larry Nassar, the governing body announced Monday.

Board of directors chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley tendered resignations effective a day ago.

CEO Steve Penny was forced out last year.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun met with Parilla earlier this month and asked for his resignation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue publicly.

In a statement, Blackmun said new board leadership is needed because current leaders have "been focused on establishing they did nothing wrong" instead of supporting the abuse victims.

"We support their decisions to resign at this time," said Kerry Perry, who was named president of USA Gymnastics in September.

"We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization."

Larry Nassar sat in the witness chair last week so more than 80 women and girls could look at him and describe the impact of being assaulted by him. Nassar molested them with his hands. He was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes. He faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the state case. He admits molesting athletes, mostly gymnasts, during treatments for various injuries.

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