Exclusive: Former gymnast raises new allegations, decade after San Jose State excused trainer’s abuse

For five years, she said she didn’t understand what was happening when Scott Shaw slipped his hand under her sports bra or into her underwear during routine sports massages.

She knew Shaw, San Jose State University’s head athletic trainer, had sought her out after gymnastics practices even though he was assigned to the men’s basketball team. But she always thought it was because he “was there to listen and take care of me.”

Then, a year after graduating in 2019, she discovered, that’s just what Larry Nassar had done. And she began to realize the shock of what Shaw had done to her.

The former San Jose State athlete’s heartbreaking realization came in a series of conversations with Rachael Denhollander — the first of hundreds of gymnasts to publicly accuse Nassar, USA Gymnastics’ fatherly team doctor, of molesting them under the guise of treatment for almost three decades. It became one of the worst sex-abuse sports scandals of all time.

Now, the connection between the two women, a courageous gymnast turned sexual abuse advocate and a young athlete who considered herself sheltered and naïve, is producing another powerful revelation. The younger woman is the first athlete to publicly accuse Shaw of abusing her in the decade after San Jose State brushed away similar allegations from more than a dozen female athletes and excused his behavior as a “bona fide means of treating muscle injury.”

It’s clear now, she said, the university let her down and should have known she could be next.

“It was never something I thought he would do to me,” said the woman, who said she is speaking out now in part to hold university officials to account for allowing Shaw’s abuse to continue. “What I am trying to figure out is why was it OK for Scott to be at San Jose State?”

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The Bay Area News Group is not identifying the woman at her request. In an exclusive interview this past week, she said she is so embarrassed and unsettled by what happened that she had not had the nerve to tell her parents “to protect their sanity.”

Her allegations are spelled out — along with those of other former San Jose State athletes — in legal claims with the California State University system filed as a precursor to a lawsuit for sexual abuse and discrimination.

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, center, sits in the courtroom as Larry Nassar is sentenced, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. The former sports doctor who admitted molesting some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison as the judge declared: “I just signed your death warrant.” The sentence capped a remarkable seven-day hearing in which scores of Nassar’s victims were able to confront him face to face in the Michigan courtroom. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) 

She had opened up a year ago when Denhollander — now a Louisville, Kentucky, lawyer — reached out to support San Jose State female athletes after an exposé in USA Today revealed the university had …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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