Gov. Abbott orders Texas Rangers investigation into allegations at Karolyi Ranch


It previously served as the National Training Center for U.S.A. Gymnastics under the direction of Bella and Marta Karoyli.

Texas Governor Greg Abott on Tuesday requested the Texas Rangers investigate allegations of sexual assault at the Karolyi Ranch, the former U.S. Olympic training facility were several gymnasts have claimed disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar abused them.

The facility has been used for regular training camps but USA Gymnastics said earlier this month it had cancelled training sessions and was exploring alternative sites until a permanent location is found. Nassar was sentenced last week to 40 to 175 years in prison on multiple criminal sexual abuse charges. Biles, who has returned to training after winning five medals at the 2016 Olympics, said in a statement that "it is impossibly difficult" to attend team camps at the ranch.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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The governor's request comes after a MI judge sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison last week for multiple charges of criminal sexual conduct. The Walker County Sheriff's Office is also now investigating the matter. More than 150 women and girls have said he had molested them under the guise of medical treatment.

Abbott also lauded the investigation already being conducted by the Walker County Sheriff's Office and said the state's investigators should work with local law enforcement to conduct the inquiry.

The governor's call for further investigative efforts come amid a Walker County Sheriff Department probe into the ranch outside of Huntsville - owned by former national team coordinators Bela and Martha Karolyi. "The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less", said Abbott.

Four-times Olympic gold medallist and Texas native Simone Biles said this month she was sexually abused by Nassar and it would be too traumatic to return to Karolyi Ranch as she worked toward her goal of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Maggie Nichols, Jantzi's star gymnast who, at 14, made the US women's national team, was speaking with Aly Raisman, captain of the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal-winning Olympic teams. He ordered the state investigation because the claims involve multiple jurisdictions and states.