Martha Karolyi

AP

Nassar survivors urge Texas to investigate Karolyis

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Victims of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar are imploring Texas authorities to investigate whether Bela and Martha Karolyi could have done more to prevent Nassar’s sexual abuse at the couple’s Texas training center.

Five former gymnasts, including two who say Nassar abused them at the Karolyis’ ranch near Huntsville, addressed reporters Thursday outside state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office.

They say Texas authorities have focused on Nassar, now imprisoned for life, while overlooking whether the Karolyis could have prevented abuse.

Martha Karolyi told “Dateline NBC” last month that Nassar conned her and her husband in much the same way he conned the parents and coaches of the girls he abused.

The Texas Rangers are investigating, but the gymnasts say Texas hasn’t executed search warrants or secured indictments, as some statutes of limitation loom.

2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher, who says Nassar molested her at the ranch, said: “I can’t understand why this is not taken seriously in Texas.”

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MORE: World champion gymnast sues Karolyis, others over Nassar abuse

Karolyis file lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, USOC over Larry Nassar

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Former U.S. women’s gymnastics national team coordinators Martha and Bela Karolyi quietly filed a lawsuit last month against USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, saying the couple didn’t know about Larry Nassar’s “reprehensible conduct” and would have reported it if there had been any suspicions about him.

Star U.S. gymnasts, among more than 100 who said they were sexually abused by the convicted Nassar, said they were abused at the Karolyi’s ranch in Texas during national-team training camps.

The Karolyis seek more than $1 million in damages in the lawsuit, first reported by the Houston Chronicle.

“Any child who was violated by Nassar, it’s a crime and it’s so sad,” Martha Karolyi told Savannah Guthrie for a “Dateline” special that aired on NBC last week (full episode here).

How could the Karolyis not have known about the alleged abuses committed at their property?

“I heard during the testimonies that some of the parents were in therapy room with their own child and Larry Nassar was performing this — and the parent couldn’t see. How I could see?” Martha Karolyi said.

“The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding, boom,” Bela Karolyi said.

Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the Rio Olympics. She told Guthrie that in “no way” did she suspect Nassar was sexually abusing athletes.

The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORE: World champion gymnast sues Karolyis, others over Larry Nassar abuse

Martha, Bela Karolyi speak on Larry Nassar case (video)

Martha Karolyi, Bela Karolyi
NBC News
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Former USA Gymnastics national team coordinators Martha and Bela Karolyi said they knew nothing about Larry Nassar‘s alleged abuse in an interview that airs on an hourlong NBC News “Dateline” special Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Star U.S. gymnasts, among more than 100 who said they were sexually abused by the convicted Nassar, said they were abused at the Karolyi’s ranch in Texas during national-team training camps.

“That’s awful, but I would say even if they have big names or they have no names, any child who was violated by Nassar, it’s a crime and it’s so sad,” Martha Karolyi told Savannah Guthrie in part of the interview that aired on TODAY on Friday.

How could the Karolyis not have known about the alleged abuses committed at their property?

“Yes, but if you couldn’t suspect anything, I heard during the testimonies that some of the parents were in therapy room with their own child and Larry Nassar was performing this — and the parent couldn’t see. How I could see?” Martha Karolyi said.

“The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding, boom,” Bela Karolyi said.

Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the Rio Olympics. She told Guthrie that in “no way” did she suspect Nassar was sexually abusing athletes.

The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORE: Full transcript of McKayla Maroney’s first comments since Larry Nassar case