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tv   Olympic Gymnasts Recount Their Experiences of Sexual Abuse  CSPAN  March 29, 2017 1:52am-3:23am EDT

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in california and we are the number one state in the nation in terms of our culture. and there's 23 campuses but only four of them have agriculture. essentially it represents the northern part of the stat statet we brought students from all over california to get experience in agriculture. >> working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> three former athletes testify about protecting young athletes from abuse. 1996 gold medalist gymnast dominique mocenau testified the physical and emotional abuse.
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while the other athletes book about sexual abuse. the senate judiciary committee is considering the protecting young victims from sexual abuse act. this hearing is 90 minutes. >> for those attending today, thank you very much for your interest in this issue as you know, our committee the judiciary committee is no stranger to the contentious debate. but when it comes to championing the rights of those that have been victimized, this committee has a clear bipartisan history. we are here today to build upon that bipartisan tradition and learn what more can be done to keep our children and young
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athletes safe from sexual predators protecting children from abusers has been our top priority for me and a lot of other members of the committee over the years. the civil penalties against those sexually exploit children. it's which victims can seek justice. they passed an important measure known as the survivor's bill of rights. it empowers survivors of sexual account of salt in the criminal justice system. sadly, we know that the abuse of children can occur in almost any
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setting. but what is especially disturbing is when that abuse occurs by someone in a position of trust and what should be a common sense safe environment, such as the youth athletic programs, but we find out sometimes but it does not turn out that way. recent headlines focused our attention on troubling allegations of child sexual abuse in the gymnastics program around the country. usa domestic scum of the monastl sports organization that oversees gymnastics in our country was the focus of the investigation by the indianapolis star. the newspaper detailed sexual abuse allegations from gymnasts across the country over a period of two decades.
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coaches, instructors, and even the national gymnastics teams doctors have been accused. this isn't the only national organization that made headlines of abuse by coaches and instructors in recent years. there is a lifetime ban on swimming coaches for abusing teenagers. the outcry from the latest victims led us to convene today's hearing and explore whether we are doing enough to ensure children's safety in the athletic organizations. for example, some have argued that they didn't alert the authorities to suspected sexual abuse until and unless a formal
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written complaint with the added by by avictim or their family. if it is true, such a policy might have allowed predators to victimize children long after gymnastics officials had reason to suspect sexual abuse. other media accounts suggest that coaches were not banned from the sports until they were convicted of the crime against children. sexual abuse is a heinous crime and it should be treated as such. so i hope that our witnesses can help us understand the allegations of abuse that so often remains hidden instead of being immediately reported to law enforcement. the average perpetrator strikes multiple times before being caught, which is why it is so important that these times be
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reported promptly and investigated promptly. usa gymnastics has chosen not to appear today before the judiciary committee to answer any of my or my colleagues questions, but we are fortunate to have with us today several individuals that have been through the unimaginable. we are going to hear first-hand about these experiences. we are also going to hear from the united states olympic committee. the organization that certifies 47 national sports organizations that work with young people. we hear from the u.s. olympic committecommittee is working toe young athletes safety and we will hear from the prosecutor with years of experience prosecuting the sex crimes.
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i think each of the witnesses for being here today sharing their stories and expertise. finally, i want to extend my colleague on my left, the senate ranking member feinstein for taking a leap in developing an important bill that is the direct response to these issues. i joined as an original cosponsor of the station which would have more reporting and give survivors that is to hold perpetrators accountable. i know that she will speak more about herbal, our bill i should say, but i am proud to be a cosponsor. so, now i will turn to the ranking member for her opening statements. >> thank you very much for being the original cosponsor of this bill. it is very much appreciated. i want everybody here to know we have 17 cosponsors.
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senator blumenthal is one, senator collins, senator donnelly, senator ernst, senator flake, senator franken, senator grassley, senator harris, senator klobuchar, senator mccaskill, senator shaheen, senator warren and senator young. we are delighted to have them on board as original cosponsors. i want to thank you for working with me and your help. everybody has been quite wonderful. i would like to recognize a few people who are here and i would like to recognize a former gymnast from paradise california who was on the usa gymnastics national team in 1999
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