Olympic sex harassment case points to the need for accountability

The last months of this year have brought a seemingly endless series of revelations about women being harassed and assaulted by the powerful — who got away with it for too long.

Let us hope 2018 takes the story into the second phase it needs to enter. That is holding accountable those who closed their eyes to misdeeds by powerful politicians, entertainers and others. It is taking action, through criminal charges if possible, against those who actively helped the predators.

Among the most disturbing situations that have come to light is that involving Dr. Larry Nassar, who worked with members of the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team for years. He sexually abused some. Earlier this month, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

One of his victims, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, is suing USA Gymnastics. She alleges that in 2016, she and the organization settled a claim she had filed for sexual abuse by Nassar. She was required to keep quiet about it, Maroney says.

Why did USA Gymnastics take such action, which smells like a coverup? The new year would be a good time to ask that question –and the same of many others who shielded predators.