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 9:28 PM
Updated: May 10, 2018 9:28 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.

Huntsville/Madison
Mostly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 44°
Muscle Shoals
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 48°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 44°
Decatur
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 46°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 47°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 694291

Reported Deaths: 8556
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby771571142
Davidson71578678
Knox39306418
Hamilton35049330
Rutherford33516288
Unassigned23161126
Williamson21679141
Sumner18454232
Out of TN1601379
Montgomery14719149
Wilson14622159
Sullivan12736212
Blount12146127
Washington12010193
Maury11079125
Bradley1093494
Sevier10589110
Putnam10001148
Madison9205180
Robertson774185
Hamblen7088112
Anderson6864107
Greene6655108
Tipton626865
Coffee567382
Gibson5671112
Cumberland544173
Dickson543579
Bedford535690
Roane526379
Carter5145115
Lawrence514269
McMinn511773
Warren502653
Loudon500050
Jefferson483876
Dyer478683
Monroe462763
Hawkins449970
Franklin415263
Fayette402151
Obion401980
Rhea384756
Lincoln381244
Marshall349238
Cocke348657
Cheatham343930
Weakley341848
Henderson334658
Campbell328640
Giles325373
Carroll314059
White312643
Hardeman311252
Hardin300048
Lauderdale295131
Macon291450
Wayne265020
Henry262958
Overton256145
DeKalb244142
McNairy242242
Haywood241045
Smith233028
Marion230831
Trousdale229314
Scott227331
Hickman225834
Claiborne217629
Fentress214233
Grainger211237
Johnson203033
Morgan191215
Crockett181338
Chester175838
Bledsoe175411
Unicoi168344
Cannon158920
Lake156620
Decatur148127
Polk144517
Union140723
Grundy140321
Sequatchie138318
Humphreys134417
Benton132535
Lewis128620
Meigs116416
Stewart107020
Jackson105423
Perry95325
Clay94626
Houston94222
Moore8179
Pickett68520
Van Buren6667
Hancock4076

Community Events