Sunday, July 5, 2020

Former USA Gymnastics CEO arrested for evidence tampering in Nassar investigation

October 18, 2018
Ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar talks with his attorney, Matt Newburg, on the fourth day of his sentencing on Jan. 19, 2018 at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing. (Nic Antaya | The State News)
Ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar talks with his attorney, Matt Newburg, on the fourth day of his sentencing on Jan. 19, 2018 at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing. (Nic Antaya | The State News) —

Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for tampering with evidence in a investigation into ex-MSU and USAG doctor Larry Nassar’s possible sexual misconduct at a gymnastics camp.

U.S. Marshalls arrested Penny while he was on vacation in Tennessee on Oct. 17. He was indicted Sept. 28 by a grand jury in Walker County, Texas for allegedly ordering the removal of documents from the camp, Karolyi Ranch, impeding Texas Rangers’ investigation. 

This is a third degree felony. Penny could face two to 10 years in prison.

USA TODAY reports Penny’s attorney Edith Matthai said had her husband been aware of the indictment, he would not have gone on vacation with his wife and three daughters.

"Mr Penny has not and would not have attempted to avoid the service of a summons, Matthai wrote in an email to USA TODAY Sports. "Mr. Penny is confident that when all the facts are known the allegations against him will be disproven."

Penny is being held at Sevier County Jail in Sevierville, Tennessee as he awaits extradition to Texas.


With USA Gymnastics facing criticism regarding allegations of mishandling cases of sexual assault, Penny resigned from his position in March of 2017.

Karolyi Ranch has been cited by numerous parties as the place they were sexually abused, including Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles. The ranch has been characterized as a haven for Nassar to continually abuse athletes, with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman telling the Washington Post red flags were everywhere.

In her victim impact statement at Nassar’s sentencing in Ingham County in January, elite gymnast Mattie Larson said Debra Van Horn, an athletic trainer at the camp, witnessed Nassar abuse her and did nothing.

Van Horn was arrested on one charge of second-degree sexual assault of a child this September.

Nassar is serving a 60-year federal sentence on child pornography-related charges.

On June 5, Penny appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating the Olympic community's response to athlete sexual assault.

After pleading his fifth amendment right to abstain from multiple questions, he was dismissed.

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