On October 17, Steve Penny was taken into police custody for tampering with official police evidence related to investigations into sexual abuse by Larry Nassar. Penny, the former president of USA Gymnastics, has previously been criticized for ignoring reports about Nassar’s sexual abuse and working to hide the allegations.
Penny was taken into custody after an indictment from Texas called for his arrest. Police tracked down Penny and located him in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Texas indictment alleges that Penny specifically ordered documents regarding abuse that occurred at Karolyi Ranch to be removed after learning about a pending investigations. The documents, which were brought personally to Penny, have not been found. Police believe that Penny intentionally destroyed or hid the blatant evidence of Nassar’s sexual abuse. The evidence is believed to be “material” to the investigation into Nassar’s crimes at the ranch.
Earlier this year, Nassar pleaded guilty to over 10 counts of sexual misconduct. It’s apparent that he assaulted several victims while serving as a doctor for the U.S. National Women’s Gymnastics Team. He has since been sentenced to over 60 years in prison for his federal charges, and 300 years for state charges. An overwhelming 250 women have come forward with allegations against the suspect.
During Nassar’s hearings, Penny refused to answer questions. He utilized the Fifth Amendment to protect his right against self-incrimination. It was later discovered that Penny had ordered several officials within the USA Gymnastics team to not disclose abuse reports to the FBI. In March of 2017, Penny was forced to resign.