The top leadership of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors resigned Monday amid public criticism of how the organization mishandled complaints from women who accused Larry Nassar of sexually abusing them.
Chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley submitted their resignations effective immediately, USA Gymnastics wrote in a statement.
"USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organization," USA Gymnastics President Kerry Perry said. "We support their decisions to resign at this time. We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization."
Perry said the board will work to "ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve."
The announcement comes as Nassar’s sentencing hearing continues for a fifth day in a Michigan courtroom. Nearly 100 victim statements have been given by women and girls who say Nassar sexually assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment.
One of his victims, Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, warned Nassar in her testimony that statements from the "powerful army" of survivors will haunt him in prison.
"All these brave women have power, and we will use our voices to make sure you get what you deserve — a life of suffering spent replaying the words delivered by this powerful army of survivors," Raisman said at Friday's hearing.
The 23-year-old gymnast has been highly critical of the way her sport's governing body handled sexual abuse claims and has called for sweeping changes in leadership at USA Gymnastics, including the removal of Parilla.
USA Gymnastics launched an independent review of its policies in the wake of the allegations against Nassar and reporting by the Indianapolis Star that highlighted chronic mishandling of abuse allegations against coaches and staff at some of its more than 3,500 clubs across the country.
In June 2017, the gymnastics board adopted the new USA Gymnastics SafeSport Policy that replaced the previous policy. Key updates include mandatory reporting, defining six types of misconduct, setting standards to prohibit grooming behavior, preventing inappropriate interaction and establishing accountability.
A month later, the organization hired Toby Stark, a child welfare advocate, as its director of SafeSport. Part of Stark's mandate is educating members on rules, educational programs and reporting. The federation also adopted several recommendations by Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw the review. USA Gymnastics now has the power to withhold membership from clubs that decline to report claims of abuse.
Clubs are now "required to report child abuse or neglect, including sexual misconduct, to proper authorities, including the U.S. Center for SafeSport and law enforcement authorities."
Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes. He faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the molestation case.