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Q&A: Separate investigations launched against U.S. Olympic Committee following sexual abuse claims

HOUSTON – Five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles said she welcomes any investigation into allegations of sexual assault within USA Gymnastics, including claims some knew gymnasts were being abused but did nothing to intervene. 

"It's very saddening that somebody knew about it and didn't speak up to protect their athletes when we go out to represent their country with our full hearts," Biles said Friday.

Biles has alleged Dr. Larry Nassar sexually abused her while he worked as a doctor for the USA Gymnastics Team. Nassar has been convicted of sexual assault on a multitude of allegations. 

Nassar has been sentenced to 60 years for a conviction related to child pornography. He was also sentenced to up to 175 years for sexual abuse charges.

Two separate investigations

Some victims allege Nassar sexually assaulted them at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville. The Walker County Sheriff's Office has launched a criminal investigation into those allegations. 

Meanwhile, the United States Olympic Committee announced Friday it has hired an independent investigator to look into whether people within the USOC and USA Gymnastics knew about sexual abuse claims but did nothing to stop them. 

Both investigations are independent of one another, said KPRC2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice. 

So, what to make of either investigation? What's the focus of the USOC independent investigation?

"They recognize the gravity, the enormity of what ultimately happened with Larry Nassar on their watch," Wice said. 

If the USOC independent investigation shows others were complicit in ignoring allegations of abuse, what happens next? 

"The larger question is that it increases the gene pool for future civil suits because we're talking about civil liability on an epicurean, Herculean scale," Wice said. 

What's the focus of the Walker County/Texas Rangers investigation?

In a nutshell: it's an investigation into whether people violated criminal law. 

"Whether or not the Rangers are ultimately able to determine whether there's any criminal liability based on what already happened at the Karolyi Ranch is obviously yet another sordid chapter," Wice said.