368 gymnasts as young as 6 allege sexual exploitation

368 gymnasts as young as 6 allege sexual exploitation

A 12-year-old gymnast molested by an Olympic coach during “therapy” sessions.

Children as young as 6 secretly photographed nude by coaches.

Coaches who slipped a finger inside girls’ leotards.

A coach having almost daily sex with a 14-year-old at one of the country’s most prestigious gyms.

No one knows exactly how many children have been sexually exploited in America’s gyms over the past 20 years. But an IndyStar-USA TODAY Network review of hundreds of police files and court cases across the country provides for the first time a measure of just how pervasive the problem is.

At least 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics. That’s a rate of one every 20 days. And it’s likely an undercount.

IndyStar previously reported that top officials at USA Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations, failed to alert police to many allegations of sexual abuse that occurred on their watch and stashed complaints in files that have been kept secret.

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