HOUSTON -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has requested the Texas Rangers launch an investigation into the allegations of sexual assault of athletes at the Karolyi Ranch in Walker County.
The ranch previously served as the National Training Center for U.S.A. Gymnastics, but in recent months athletes have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse while training at the facility.
"The public statements made by athletes who previously trained at the Karolyi Ranch are gut-wrenching," stated Abbott in a press release. "Those athletes, as well as all Texans, deserve to know that no stone is left unturned to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly vetted and the perpetrators and enablers of any such misconduct are brought to justice. The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less."
In his letter, Governor Abbott "commends the Walker County Sheriff’s Office for its diligence in their ongoing investigation. He stated that because criminal action has been implicated across multiple jurisdictions and states, it is essential that the Texas Rangers work with the Walker County Sheriff Office to comprehensively investigate all potential criminal conduct."
Recently the webpage for the legendary Karolyi Ranch announced the training facility had permanently closed.
The message read:
"After nearly four decades of spiriting young gymnasts towards greatness in sport, our yearly tradition of the Karolyi's Gymnastics Camp has come to an end. Bela, Martha, and the rest of the camp staff wish to sincerely thank all participants, USA Gymnastics, and everyone who has been a part of our extended family for 35 years of unforgettable memories."
The closure came just one day after the sentencing of former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics' Dr. Larry Nassar for multiple sexual abuse charges and within a week of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office announcement that the ranch is currently under investigation.