Steve Penny, former President and CEO of USA Gymnastics, was arrested on Wednesday in Tennessee after he was indicted by a Texas grandy jury on charges of evidence tampering. Penny resigned from his post in March 2017 amid mounting concerns regarding USA Gymnastics’ handling of allegations of sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar is currently serving a prison sentence for criminal sexual conduct and child pornography, in a trial where almost 200 athletes came forward as survivors of Nassar’s unprecedented abuse.
According to prosecutors, Penny ordered employees to hide or destroy documents relating to Nassar that were stored in a training facility in Walker County, Texas. Several of the documents were sent to Penny at the USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis, but law enforcement officials have yet to recover them.
These allegations follow claims by Rhonda Faehn, former women’s program director at USA Gymnastics, that Penny instructed her “not to say anything to anyone” about complaints against Nassar. If convicted of evidence tampering, Penny could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Penny is also the subject of several lawsuits that have emerged from Nassar’s abuse.
Mike Klain is a Sports Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current first year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2021).