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Larry Nassar at second sexual abuse trial. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

USA Gymnastics helped cover for Larry Nassar when he was under investigation for child sexual abuse in 2015 by saying he was "sick" or busy with his private practice during two major USA Gymnastics events, according to emails obtained by The Indianapolis Star.

Why it matters: At least 14 more women said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar after June 2015, when USA Gymnastics started receiving complaints about Nassar's "medical techniques."

What happened:

  • When Scott Himsel, an Indianapolis attorney hired by USA Gymnastics, told Nassar that he was under investigation and that "it is in everyone's best interest" that he not attend a gymnastics event that weekend, Nassar replied: "Can we just say that I am sick? That would make more sense to everyone. Would that be ok?"
    • Himsel responded: "We'll let Ron know to advise people that you weren't feeling well and decided to stay home."
  • On a different occasion, Himsel told Nassar that he'd be forced to skip the USA P&G Championships in Indianapolis. "If I am not going to be at Championships," Nassar wrote back, "then it is due to financial reasons with my clinical practice, which is an accurate statement."
    • "Understood," Himsel replied, "Ron will proceed accordingly."

What they're saying: USA Gymnastics previously said it remained silent with regard to the investigation because the FBI asked it to. However, dates from the e-mails reveal they decided to keep the investigation under wraps before the FBI got involved.

The impact: 41 days passed from the time USA Gymnastics was alerted to "athlete concerns" about Nassar to the time officials met with the FBI, per the report.

  • Former gymnast Kaylee Lorincz visited Nassar twice after USA Gymnastics had been made aware of the investigation. He wasn't arrested until 2016.
  • "It could have saved that many more if they could have just stopped him in 2015," Korincz told the Indy Star.

More than 265 victims came forward against Larry Nassar. He was sentenced to decades in prison for multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography.

Go deeper: The overwhelming case of Larry Nassar.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

49 mins ago - Health

CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the messaging around the COVID-19 pandemic and changing guidance should have been clearer.

State of play: Walensky is being coached by media experts and is planning to have more press briefings by herself in order to ensure that CDC is seen as an independent, scientific entity, rather than as a political one, the Journal reports.

1 hour ago - World

UAE asks U.S. to reinstate Houthi terrorist designation after attack

Secretary of State Tony Blinken (left) listens to United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during a joint news conference at the State Department iin October. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a phone call Monday to re-designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization, a senior Emirati official told Axios.

Why it matters: Less than a month after he assumed office, President Biden rolled back the Trump administration’s decision to make the designation. He said it hampered humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people. Since then, the Houthis have escalated their attacks against Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region — including an attack Monday in Abu Dhabi.