Gov. Abbott orders Texas Rangers to investigate Karolyi Ranch gymnast facilities near Houston, Texas

The governor of Texas has called on the Texas Rangers to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct at the famed and recently shuttered Karolyi Ranch north of Houston. The ranch was until recently a training camp for the nation's top gymnasts.

Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the director of the state's public safety department Tuesday asking him to deploy the statewide law enforcement Rangers to provide a thorough investigation of the ranch. USA Gymnastics terminated its relationship with the Karolyi Ranch earlier this month during a sentencing hearing for former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in state prison for criminal sexual conduct. Several women who provided statements during that hearing say Nassar assaulted them while they were training at the ranch in Texas.

"The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gutwrenching," Abbott wrote in his letter. "Those athletes, as well as all Texans, deserve to know that no stone is left unturned to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly vetted and the perpetrators and enablers of any such misconduct are brought to justice. The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less."

Several of the women who spoke out about Nassar said he earned their trust by playing the "good cop" alongside demanding and demeaning coaches, including ranch owners and former Olympic coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi. While Nassar was supposed to be treating them in their rooms at the ranch, he sexually assaulted them, the women say.
The Karolyis were demanding coaches and Nasser apparently used that to gain the confidence of the gymnasts by giving them treats to befriend them.   He is accused of going from forbidden deserts to forbidden sexual contacts.


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