STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Larry Nassar victims say Texas isn't seriously investigating Karolyi Ranch

Young women abused by Larry Nassar called on Texas officials to investigate what USA Gymnastics coach Martha Karolyi ...

Posted: May 10, 2018 10:28 PM
Updated: May 10, 2018 10:28 PM

Young women abused by Larry Nassar called on Texas officials to investigate what USA Gymnastics coach Martha Karolyi knew about Nassar's abuse and when she knew it, they said during a press conference Thursday.

"I can't understand why this is not taken seriously in Texas right now," said Jamie Dantzscher, an Olympic bronze medal gymnast who was abused by Nassar.

In Michigan, a special prosecutor was appointed to dig into what Michigan State University officials knew about Nassar, the convicted child abuser and former USA Gymnastics team doctor. That investigation has already led to sexual assault charges against Nassar's boss, William Strampel, who has pleaded not guilty.

But there is no parallel investigation in Texas, the victims' attorneys said, even though Nassar abused many women and girls at the Karolyi Ranch training center for years.

"We're asking for the same thing they've already done in Michigan, (but) in Texas," attorney Michelle Tuegel said.

"I don't think it's fair as a survivor to stand by and wait for people to do the right thing and make us come and stand in front of media and beg for the right thing to be done," former US gymnast Jeanette Antolin said.

What Texas officials are saying

In particular, the women and attorneys said that Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela, the longtime gymnastics coaches, knew about Nassar's abuse in June 2015 yet failed to protect the girls.

"I think that it is incredibly unfair that Martha didn't do her job and protect me, because I probably wouldn't be standing here if she would have," said Autumn Blaney, a 16-year-old gymnast

The Karolyis, who have denied any wrongdoing, ran the training center, a 2,000-acre compound about 70 miles north of Houston. It became the US Women's National Team Training Center in 2001 and a US Olympic Training Site in 2011 -- during many of the same years Nassar was the national team doctor.

The Texas Rangers are leading an "open and very active" investigation into possible misconduct at the ranch, said prosecutor Stephanie Stroud of the Walker County district attorney's office. The office will likely bring evidence to a grand jury "before the end of the summer," she said.

"They are interviewing and looking at evidence along with potential offenses," she said. "This is a big task. It is multifaceted, and it spans a long period of time and that's why the investigation is taking time."

The Texas attorney general's office told CNN it would assist in the investigation if there is a request from the district attorney, the Texas Rangers or the Walker County Sheriff's Department.

"At this time, the Office of the Attorney General has received no formal appointment or request to join this investigation, which is outside of our jurisdiction," the office said.

Tuegel said that, from her knowledge, the investigation has not conducted any search warrants at the ranch or searched electronic devices. She urged Texas law enforcement to step up its investigation because she believes the statute of limitations may expire on possible charges related to the case.

"That's really why we're here today, because it may be too late if they don't do so very soon, and we haven't seen any of that action beyond just statements that they are investigating," Tuegel said.

What the Karolyis knew and when they knew it

Attorney John Manly deposed Martha Karolyi in 2017 as part of a civil lawsuit filed by former gymnast Mattie Larson, which alleges the Karolyis "turned a blind eye to the perpetrator Nassar's sexual abuse of children at the Ranch."

According to a transcript of the deposition, which CNN obtained earlier this year, Manly asked Karolyi: "Were you ever advised by any USAG official in or around June 2015 that they had received a complaint that Dr. Nassar had molested a National Team gymnast at the ranch?"

Karolyi answered, "Yes, I did."

She went on to say that former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny informed her of the allegations, according to the transcript.

Now, her attorney says Karolyi misspoke in the deposition. He reiterated her previous assertion that she had no knowledge of the allegations until the summer of 2016.

"It is not uncommon in a deposition for a deponent to misunderstand a question or misspeak. Martha misunderstood the question and misspoke," lawyer Gary Jewell said in a statement.

"It was not realized until much later that she was not precise with her earlier testimony," Jewell said.

But at Thursday's press conference, Manly dismissively referred to that explanation as "interesting."

Witnesses are allowed to make corrections to misstatements in depositions in what's known as an "errata sheet." Manly said that Karolyi did just that and corrected a number of statements, including times and dates. But there was no change to her statement about what the gymnastics official told her about Nassar.

"Mr. Jewell's statement is a desperate attempt to explain that he got caught, and Ms. Karolyi got caught, in a big fat lie," Manly said.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Kokomo
Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 92°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 92°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 90°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 91°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
The air will still be pretty bad this weekend with intense, humidity & a few storms.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 763688

Reported Deaths: 13963
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1048591803
Lake567611029
Allen42619698
St. Joseph37234568
Hamilton37098426
Elkhart29678469
Tippecanoe23321230
Vanderburgh23086404
Porter19530327
Johnson18734391
Hendricks17994321
Madison13446345
Clark13429198
Vigo12779255
LaPorte12528224
Monroe12474178
Delaware11087198
Howard10599237
Kosciusko9729123
Hancock8699149
Bartholomew8228157
Warrick8020157
Floyd7961181
Grant7330181
Wayne7221201
Boone7137105
Morgan6878142
Marshall6320116
Dubois6255118
Cass6083111
Dearborn597878
Noble595290
Henry5939111
Jackson514077
Shelby508297
Lawrence4890127
Gibson460596
Montgomery453692
Clinton452355
DeKalb451185
Harrison449476
Whitley413945
Huntington411581
Steuben409560
Miami403773
Jasper399355
Knox387091
Putnam383462
Wabash366983
Adams350456
Ripley350471
Jefferson340386
White338854
Daviess3084100
Wells301981
Greene292085
Decatur291492
Fayette285864
Posey280235
Scott277458
LaGrange276772
Clay272548
Washington252037
Randolph246283
Jennings237549
Spencer237231
Fountain233150
Starke229759
Owen220959
Sullivan218643
Fulton207445
Jay202832
Carroll196122
Orange190556
Perry189039
Vermillion179544
Rush176927
Franklin171635
Tipton171447
Parke153116
Pike140934
Blackford137732
Pulaski122848
Newton122136
Benton108915
Brown105443
Crawford104816
Martin92515
Warren87515
Switzerland8308
Union73510
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events