Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) helped the House pass S. 534 – the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. This bipartisan legislation extends the mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse to national governing bodies, like USA Gymnastics, and affiliated amateur sports organizations, to ensure that reports are immediately made to local or federal law enforcement authorities.
“This bipartisan legislation will help protect our athletes from the heinous crime of sexual assault,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Sadly, we have seen many recent reports of unacceptable abuse faced by our nation’s athletes. By enhancing reporting requirements for child abuse, we can help ensure our athletes don’t have their dreams stolen by sexual predators.”
According to reports, over the past 20 years, at least 368 victims, many of whom were young athletes, were subjected to sexual abuse by coaches, doctors or other adults affiliated with USA Gymnastics. Although USA Gymnastics received reports of abuse, victims claimed that USA Gymnastics allowed the abuse allegations, including complaints made against coaches who trained and abused young athletes in multiple states, to remain dormant.  On January 24, 2018, Dr. Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting numerous amateur gymnasts, including gymnasts training at the renowned Karolyi Ranch, for over 15 years. His accusers number over 160. S. 534 requires national governing bodies, like USA Gymnastics, to report to law enforcement agencies on such criminal activity.