Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney Joins #MeToo Movement
Joining the ever-growing list of women showing support for victims of sexual harassment by sharing their own stories is Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney. On October 16, 2017, Maroney, now 21-year-old from Long Beach, California, announced that she too was a survivor of sexual abuse. On Twitter, she described the horrible abuse she suffered over the years with the #MeToo hashtag.
“People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood,” Maroney wrote. “This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting.”‘
Olympic gold medalist Maroney said former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her over several years. The abuse beginning at the age of 13 when she was first invited to the USA Gymnastics team training camp. In 2011, at the world championships in Tokyo Maroney, when she was 15, Nassar had given her a sleeping pill. Maroney remembers, “and the next thing I know I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.” Nassar’s abuse continued at the 2012 London Olympics where Maroney’s team USA won gold and where she won silver on the vault.
Nassar’s abuse continued until she left gymnastics. At the time, Maroney said. “It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.'”
For nearly 20 years, Nassar was the team physician for USA Gymnastics where he attended the team at four Olympic Games. The summer of 2015, after receiving a complaint, USA Gymnastics fired Nassar, but delayed five weeks before alerting the FBI of any possible crimes.
Now the doctor is accused of assaulting at least 140 girls and women, who he abused her under the guise of “medical treatment,” with nearly all the women saying the abuse happened during medical appointments.
Currently Nassar is on trial in Michigan facing numerous sexual assault charges. In July 2017, he plead guilty to federal child pornography charges, and on December 7, 2017, he will be sentenced to 22 to 27 years in prison. Furthermore, he awaits trial on 33 additional charges of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan.
While Doctor Nassar is facing criminal charges for he egregious conduct, he is also subject to civil legal action for his abuse. Moreover, USA Gymnastics may face possible liability too as an employer.
Under federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Title VII also protects individuals from sexual harassment and sexual assault.
In general, sexual harassment involves an unwanted condition imposed on your employment because of your gender. Such conduct includes unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances; hostility towards your gender or sex; offensive or pervasive acts toward one gender, or encouragement of a workplace atmosphere that treats employees of a certain gender inappropriately. While sexual harassment may come from a victim’s own supervisor, it can also come from others such as an immediate supervisor, a supervisor from another area, co-workers and even customers. Besides federal protections like Title VII, there are many additional protections that protect individuals who work in the state of New York or New York City from sexual harassment.
If you feel like you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, or you need legal help contact the experienced New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call, toll free, at , for your free consultation.
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