Photo Credit: USA Today
Former USA Gymnastics president and CEO Steve Penny has been arrested in his Gatlinburg, Tennessee cabin on felony charges of tampering with evidence related to the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal following a manhunt that began on Friday, September 28.
Here is what a prosecutors had to say about the matter in a press release, according to Yahoo.
“On September 28, 2018, a Walker County Grand Jury convened to continue their ongoing investigation of the Karolyi Ranch and those individuals who may have committed offenses related to the conduct of Dr. Larry Nassar at that location. On that same day, the Grand Jury returned an indictment on Penny for Tampering with Evidence, a third degree felony.”
Penny, who resigned from USA Gymnastics back in March of 2017 in the wake of the scandal involving the 55-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, faces between two and 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine if he is convicted.
The indictment alleges that Penny removed files from the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center Károlyi Ranch, also known as the Károlyi Ranch, in Huntsville, Texas, which was the training home of USA Gymnastics up until January of 2018.
Penny, who is currently awaiting transfer to Walker County, Texas, which is where he was indicted, reportedly ordered that documents be removed from Károlyi Ranch while the Nassar investigation was taking place, and he reportedly had them delivered to the United States Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. These documents have not been recovered.
Here is Walker County district attorney David P. Weeks stated about the matter in a press release, according to Yahoo.
“The Texas Rangers and the detectives believe that those records are material to their investigation and that the removal of the records by Penny prevented them from reviewing documents that would have helped in their investigation of Nassar as well as assisted with the investigation of other offenses that may have occurred at the Karolyi Ranch,”
Here is what U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee David Jolley had to say about the matter in a press release, according to Yahoo.
“Deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers from the Southern District of Texas and the Eastern District Tennessee worked tirelessly to locate Penny. Good police work ensured that Penny was swiftly and safely apprehended. He will now face the charges against him.”
Nassar, meanwhile, is set to spend the rest of his life in prison. He was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison back in December on three child pornography charges by U.S. District Judge Janet Neff.
Nassar was serving this prison sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson, a maximum-security federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, before his lawyers revealed that he was physically assaulted within hours of his release into the general population of the prison.
Weeks later, Nassar was transferred to the Federal Transfer Center, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and he was recently transferred to United States Penitentiary, Coleman II, a high-security federal prison for male inmates that is located in central Florida roughly 50 miles northwest of Orlando, 60 miles northeast of Tampa and 35 miles south of Ocala.
In January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges following a seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan during which 169 victim impact statements were delivered in front of Nassar in court.
Of those 169 victim impact statements, 156 were delivered by people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault and the other 13 were delivered on the behalves of those who have accused him of sexual assault.
In February, Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced Nassar between an additional 40 and 125 more years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges following a three-day sentencing hearing in Eaton County, Michigan during which 65 victim impact statements were delivered in front of Nassar in court.
The father of three of Nassar’s accusers attempted to attack Nassar in court during this sentencing hearing.
In June, Nassar was charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child in stemming from the Károlyi Ranch investigation in Texas, but he was not issued any additional prison time as a result of these charges.
Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 330 individuals, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades.