51 victims of Larry Nassar's sexual assault sue USOC over abuse claims

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is being sued by 51 victims of disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar because the committee allegedly failed to prevent the sexual assault.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Denver. It details Nassar’s abuse from as far back as the late 1990s with one victim as young as 8 years old.

USOC board members and several former high-ranking officials were also included in the lawsuit.

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The lawsuit describes alleged abuse by six other coaches, though most of the plaintiffs said they were abused by Nassar himself.

It also claims the USOC violated Title IX and the constitution by not acting promptly and more forcefully.

Many of the plaintiffs’ claims in the lawsuit are similar to those of other victims: Often their parents were present during the examinations but Nassar positioned himself in a way that they could not see what was happening.

Many also claimed they were not aware they were being abused at the time because they were young and sexually inexperienced. Some said they only became aware when other victims came forward at Nassar’s 2018 sentencing hearing for child pornography and sex abuse.

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Others acted after the release of a report in December that detailed the USOC’s allegedly slow response to sex-abuse cases.

In addition to compensation, the plaintiffs are asking for institutional reform at the USOC.

The USOC said the federation would have no comment on pending litigation. The governing body has tried to remove itself as a defendant in a number of other similar lawsuits, contending it should not be held legally responsible for Nassar’s crimes.

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Those lawsuits include USA Gymnastics as defendants, but this one singles out the USOC, which is based in Colorado Springs.

Virtually all the top executives — including the chairman, CEO and sports performance director — have left voluntarily or been fired since Nassar’s sentencing in January 2018.

In January 2018, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting seven people in the Lansing, Michigan, area between 1998 and 2015. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.