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Kelly Cutright: Gymnast Abused as Teen Says USA Gymnastics Covers Up Sex Abuse by Coaches

Image: Kelly Cutright: Gymnast Abused as Teen Says USA Gymnastics Covers Up Sex Abuse by Coaches

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By    |   Monday, 29 Aug 2016 08:41 AM

Kelly Cutright, a former gymnast allegedly abused by her coach, charged that USA Gymnastics has covered up sex abuse charges by not releasing complaints filed against dozens of coaches, said the Indianapolis Star, adding that it found evidence of such complaints.

Cutright, who was abused as a teenager in 1999 according to court records, said USA Gymnastics should release the complaint files on the 54 coaches it has compiled. Her own coach was eventually sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting other children, noted the Savannah Morning News.

"There's no telling how many of those coaches are still coaching," said Cutright, who the Star identified by her maiden name. "There's no telling how many of those kids could still be in danger."

Cutright said USA Gymnastics knew in 1998 that her former coach William McCabe was accused of sexual abuse based on warning letters that two Florida gym owners sent the organization, said the Star.

McCabe was hired to coach at International Gold Gymnastics in Tallahassee, Florida in 1997, where Cutright, then 12, was a gymnast, said the Star. Unaware of previous complaints, she and her parents followed McCabe to Georgia where the coach allegedly began an ongoing relationship with the teenager until 2001 when was 16, said the Star.

In 2007, McCabe was sentenced to 30 years in prison in federal prison for sexually exploitation of children in connection with a gym he operated in Georgia and making false statements to the FBI, said the Morning News.

Former USA Gymnastics President Robert Colarossi testified in an earlier deposition that he inherited a policy of dismissing allegations as "hearsay" unless they were signed by a victim or victim's parent, said the Star.

On Monday in Effingham County, Georgia Judge Ronald Thompson will hear a request by the Star to unseal depositions in a case related to McCabe, along with USA Gymnastics sexual misconduct files submitted as evidence in the case, covering a period from 1996 to 2006.

Earlier this month the Star published a detailed investigation about sexual abuse allegations and how they were handled by the USA Gymnastics, the governing body of the sport in the United States.

The Washington Post said USA Gymnastics claimed the Star "left out significant facts that would have painted a more accurate picture of our efforts."

"Addressing issues of sexual misconduct has been important to USA Gymnastics for many years, and the organization is committed to promoting a safe environment for its athletes," said a USA Gymnastics statement.

"We find it appalling that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in this manner, and recognize the effect this behavior can have on a person's life. USA Gymnastics has been proactive in helping to educate the gymnastics community over the years, and will continue to take every punitive action available within our jurisdiction, and cooperate fully with law enforcement."

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Kelly Cutright, a former gymnast allegedly abused by her coach, charged that USA Gymnastics has covered up sex abuse charges by not releasing complaints filed against dozens of coaches, said the Indianapolis Star, adding that it found evidence of such complaints.
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Monday, 29 Aug 2016 08:41 AM
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