Steve Penny, the former head of USA Gymnastics who stepped down amid the horrific revelations about Dr. Larry Nassar, was arrested by a fugitive task force Wednesday while on a vacation with his family. Penny was secretly indicted three weeks ago for felony charges of tampering with evidence related to Nassar’s molestation case.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Penny was arrested in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Wednesday after being secretly indicted on September 28 by a Walker County, Texas, grand jury. NBC News reports:
According to a summary of the indictment released by Walker County prosecutors, Penny ordered the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch, where powerhouse Olympic teams were built and where some athletes say they were molested by Nassar, the longtime team doctor. Nassar was sentenced in February to as long as 125 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls.
The Texas prosecutors said some of the documents were delivered to Penny at USA Gymnastics’ headquarters in Indianapolis and that they remain missing. The indictment says Penny, knowing an investigation was in progress, intentionally destroyed or concealed the materials on or around Nov. 11, 2016.
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Penny’s attorney, Edith Matthai, says her client was given no warning about the impending arrest, which occurred while he was on vacation with his wife and three kids. “If Mr. Penny had any idea he was sought in Texas this would have been appropriately handled through counsel without terrifying his family,” said Matthai in a statement reported by NBC. “Mr. Penny has not and would not have attempted to avoid the service of a summons and he cooperated fully with the (Marshals).” (Read more from “Shock: Former USA Gymnastics Head Arrested by Fugitive Task Force” HERE)