'Scariest night': McKayla Maroney says she revealed abuse in 2011

Larry Nassar had done "the treatment" on gymnast McKayla Maroney before, but nothing prepared her for what happened in a Tokyo hotel room in October 2011.

"That was the scariest night," Maroney told NBC News in her first-ever interview about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar, the former Olympic doctor now at the center of an ever-widening scandal.

"He went, like, overboard that night."

Maroney is one of more than 265 girls and women — including a half-dozen Olympians — who say Nassar molested them under the guise of medical procedures.

See Maroney through the years: 

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McKayla Maroney through the years
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McKayla Maroney through the years
DALLAS, TX - MAY 14: Gymnast, McKayla Maroney, poses for a portrait during the 2012 Team USA Media Summit on May 14, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - U.S. women's gymnastics 'Fierce Five' appear on 'Good Morning America,' 8/15/12, airing on the ABC Television Network. (photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) JOSH ELLIOTT, JORDYN WIEBER, GABBY DOUGLAS, MCKAYLA MARONEY, KYLA ROSS, ALY RAISMAN
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 8: McKayla Maroney competes on the balance beam during the Senior Women's competition on day two of the Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena on June 8, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 8: McKayla Maroney gets ready to compete on the balance beam during the Senior Women's competition on day two of the Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena on June 8, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The United States women's gymnastics team of (center podium, left to right) Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross listened to the National Anthem during victory ceremonies at North Greenwich Arena during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: Gymnast McKayla Maroney poses at The Empire State Building on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Gabby Douglas of the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Gold Medal Team ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: McKayla Maroney leaves the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: (L-R) Members of the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. Women's Gymnastics team Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross attend The Cinema Society with Circa and Alice & Olivia screening of 'Sparkle' After Party at the Soho Grand Hotel on August 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: 2012 US Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team members McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Kyla Ross pose with Tommy Lasorda (2nd from left) after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium on September 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: (L-R) McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, Gabby Douglas and Alexandra Raisman arrive at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center on September 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Olympic gymnast gold and silver medalist McKayla Maroney makes an appearance to sign autographs Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney attends the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney attend the New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Aly Raisman, Nick Cannon and McKayla Maroney attend the Third Annual Hall of Game Awards hosted by Cartoon Network at Barker Hangar on February 9, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 09: McKayla Maroney attends the Third Annual Hall of Game Awards hosted by Cartoon Network at Barker Hangar on February 9, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: US gymnast McKayla Maroney arrives at the 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
McKayla Maroney, Long Beach, California, during the Senior Women Competition at The 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships, USA Gymnastics' National Championships at the XL, Centre, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. 15th August 2013. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
US McKayla Maroney competes on uneven bars at the 44th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp on October 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 05: McKayla Maroney of USA competes in the Vault Final on Day Six of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Belgium 2013 held at the Antwerp Sports Palace on October 5, 2013 in Antwerpen, Belgium. Jorge Luis Alvarez Pupo/LatinContent/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 27: Gymnast McKayla Maroney attends the GBK & Stop Attack Pre Kids Choice Gift Lounge held at The Redbury Hotel on March 27, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for GBK Productions)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Olympic Gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Mckayla Maroney are guests on 'Good Morning America,' 8/9/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) DOMINIQUE DAWES, MCKAYLA MARONEY
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 28: McKayla Maroney attends TigerBeat's Official Teen Choice Awards Pre-Party Sponsored by NYX Professional Makeup and Rock Your Hair at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on July 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)
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She told her story as part of a months-long Dateline investigation, airing Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET, into allegations that USA Gymnastics could have stopped Nassar earlier and tried to silence his victims when they finally spoke up — accusations the organization denies.

Read USA Gymnastics' full statement

For two years, Maroney said, she believed Nassar when he said his uncomfortable, invasive pelvic treatments — performed at the ranch owned by legendary coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi and at competitions around the world — were legitimate.

But after that night in Tokyo, she knew that something was wrong.

Related: Nassar's victims confront him in court: 

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Victims of Larry Nassar confront him in court
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Victims of Larry Nassar confront him in court
Abuse victim Jessica Thomashow addresses former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during the sentencing phase in Eaton, County Circuit Court on January 31, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan. The number of identified sexual abuse victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has grown to 265, a Michigan judge announced Wednesday as a final sentencing hearing commenced. Prosecutors said at least 65 victims were to confront Nassar in court, in the last of three sentencing hearings for the disgraced doctor who molested young girls and women for two decades in the guise of medical treatment. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Abuse victim Jessica Thomashow addresses former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during the sentencing phase in in Eaton, County Circuit Court on January 31, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan. The number of identified sexual abuse victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has grown to 265, a Michigan judge announced Wednesday as a final sentencing hearing commenced. Prosecutors said at least 65 victims were to confront Nassar in court, in the last of three sentencing hearings for the disgraced doctor who molested young girls and women for two decades in the guise of medical treatment. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Erin Blayer, a victim of former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during the sentencing phase in Eaton, County Circuit Court on January 31, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan. The number of identified sexual abuse victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has grown to 265, a Michigan judge announced Wednesday as a final sentencing hearing commenced. Prosecutors said at least 65 victims were to confront Nassar in court, in the last of three sentencing hearings for the disgraced doctor who molested young girls and women for two decades in the guise of medical treatment. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Tiffany Dutton, ,a victim of former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stands with her husband Chad, during the sentencing phase in Eaton, County Circuit Court on January 31, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan. The number of identified sexual abuse victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has grown to 265, a Michigan judge announced Wednesday as a final sentencing hearing commenced. Prosecutors said at least 65 victims were to confront Nassar in court, in the last of three sentencing hearings for the disgraced doctor who molested young girls and women for two decades in the guise of medical treatment. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Victim Kaylee Lorincz wipes tears as she speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim Rachael Denhollander speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victims and others look on as Rachael Denhollander speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Sterling Riethman speaks as former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listens during impact statements during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. More than 100 women and girls accuse Nassar of a pattern of serial abuse dating back two decades, including the Olympic gold-medal winners Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney -- who have lashed out at top sporting officials for failing to stop him. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar gives an impact statement during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. More than 100 women and girls accuse Nassar of a pattern of serial abuse dating back two decades, including the Olympic gold-medal winners Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney -- who have lashed out at top sporting officials for failing to stop him. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Kayla Spicher delivers a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar who has been accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: With her mother by her side, Kayla Spicher (R) delivers a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar who has been accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: With her mother by her side, Helena Weick delivers a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar who has been accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar (R) listens to a victim impact statement from Tiffany Lopez during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar (R) listens to a victim impact statement from Jeanette Antolin during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Gwen Anderson, standing with her former gymnastics coach Tom Brennen, reads a victim impact statement during Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. More than 100 women and girls have accused Nassar of molesting them. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Victim Emma Ann Miller (C) speaks along side her mother Leslie Miller (R) at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (L) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: With her husband by her side, Chelsea Williams delivers a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar who has been accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Victim Hannah Morrow speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (L) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim Kaylee McDowell speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman appears before speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman appears before speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim and former gymnast Bailey Lorencen speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim Clasina Syrovy speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, sits in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina presides over the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Victim Clasina Syrovy speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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Nassar, she said, had given her a sleeping aid on the long-haul flight to Japan for the world championships. By the time she got to his hotel room that night, she wasn't feeling like herself.

She wasn't alone with the doctor — at first. Maroney says two-time Olympian Aly Raisman was getting worked on, Jordyn Wieber had her foot in an ice bath, and a trainer was fighting off sleep.

One by one, Nassar dismissed them until only Maroney, then 15 years old and not yet an Olympic champion, was left.

"And then I got worked on," she said.

"[It] was very, very hard for me not to acknowledge the fact that … this was not treatment. I was being abused," she said. "I was bawling, naked on a bed, him on top of me, like fingering me.

"I thought I was going to die," she said. "It was escalating."

Maroney barely recognized Nassar.

"I didn't feel like it was him anymore," she explained. "It was this other thing that took over. The dark part of him."

"When he was done, I was so happy that I could walk away from that. I felt like I just escaped something."

In fact, as she hurried to her own hotel room, her main worry was that her coaches would be angry she was up so late.

"I remember waking up the next day and wanting to tell someone — and hoping that someone would see it in my eyes that something really bad just happened to me, that they would ask me."

No one asked.

Related: Other athletes who have accused Nassar of abuse: 

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Gymnasts who have accused Larry Nassar of assault
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Gymnasts who have accused Larry Nassar of assault
Rachael Denhollander (C) the first woman to publicly say she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team is hugged during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Larissa Boyce, a former gymnast sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team attends a hearing of Nassar's trial in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rachael Denhollander (4th L with white blouse) the first woman to publicly say she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team attends a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Madeleine Jones, 18 of Farmington Hills, Michigan, who was victimized by former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar attends a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Larissa Boyce (R) gets a hug from Alexis Alvarado, both victims of Larry Nassar, during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
kalie Lorincz (C) who was victimized by former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 02: McKayla Maroney of USA gets ready to compete in the Womens Vault Qualification on Day Three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Belgium 2013 held at the Antwerp Sports Palace on October 2, 2013 in Antwerpen, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Aly Raisman of the United States performs during the women's floor exercise final at Rio 2016 on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Raisin finished second to fellow American Simone Biles. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Olympic medalist Simone Biles stands on stage during an East Room event at the White House September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in the Rio Olympic Games this year. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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And after a long day of training, while being driven back to the hotel with other gymnasts and USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert, Maroney couldn't hold in the secret any longer.

"I just said, 'Last night, it was like Larry was fingering me,'" she said. "I said this loud."

Three other people who were there told NBC News they remember the conversation.

In Maroney's telling, gasps filled the car. She said Geddert didn't react, but a gymnast she looked up to rebuked her.

"She was probably as confused as me," Maroney said.

That gymnast told NBC News this never happened.

Geddert, who was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January after gymnasts accused him of physical and verbal abuse, did not respond to NBC News' requests for comment. The coach, who is also the subject of an unspecified criminal investigation in Michigan, said in a recent court filing for a Nassar-related lawsuit that he was "fooled" by Nassar, a longtime friend.

USA Gymnastics said it had no knowledge of the car conversation. It said it first learned of Nassar's "treatment" in the summer of 2015 when a coach heard gymnast Maggie Nichols talking about it with Raisman.

But elite gymnasts say the abuse goes back to the late 1990s. Allegations that USA Gymnastics figures, including legendary coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, should have known young athletes were at risk will be explored in Sunday's Dateline investigation, which includes an exclusive interview with the Karolyis.

Hear more from Maroney: 

The Karolyis say there is no way they could have known Nassar was molesting the gymnasts they trained. In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it "denies any allegation that it had wide-ranging knowledge of abuse by Nassar or that it concealed or ignored his abuse."

Maroney was just 13 when she first met Nassar during a national training camp at the Karolyi ranch in a forest an hour outside Houston. He was the national team doctor, a volunteer position he had held since 1996.

Maroney knew his name; he was the doctor who kept gold medalists healthy enough to compete. In fact, he was working on an Olympian when he spoke to her for the first time.

"He told me he was going to do a checkup on me, and that was the first day I was abused," she said.

Nassar told her to go put on shorts with no underwear — an instruction that many of his victims have since recounted. Maroney got on a massage table "and that's when he did what he would call 'his treatment,'" she said.

That first time, it lasted a minute.

"I didn't know how to understand what was happening because I felt so lucky to be with him, so it was obviously a very confusing moment," she said. "I wished my mom was with me."

Nassar apparently sensed her unease because he told her she shouldn't mention his technique to anyone and dangled her childhood dream in front of her.

"He said nobody would understand this and the sacrifice that it takes to get to the Olympics," Maroney recalled.

Maroney said she got "the treatment" whenever Nassar saw her. How many times all told? "Hundreds," she said.

"I always felt like Nassar was obsessed with her," Raisman said.

At the time, she and the others didn't realize that attention was part of the grooming process. And Maroney said what she saw as small kindnesses helped sustain her during the demanding camps, where she was often hungry and aching.

Once, she remembered, Nassar bought her a loaf of bread. "It made me so happy," she said. "I was just like, 'Wow, he really likes me and cares about me. And is trying to make sure that I get to the Olympics.'"

McKayla says Nassar's abuse often took place in a space Karolyi camp attendees called "the end room." Nassar would put Maroney's name last on the signup list for post-workout sessions so the other girls would already be back in their rooms, she said.

"He would work on me for like an hour and a half. And just like full abuse… And I'd be crying," she said.

Privately, she and Raisman and Wieber would mention "the treatment" to each other — including the burning they felt from lotion that Nassar, who didn't wear gloves, used on them.

The rest of the time, she said, she put on the brave face familiar to competitive athletes. Even after that that horrific night in Tokyo, Maroney turned in one of the best performances of her life, winning gold on the vault at the world championships.

And then, she was on the road to the Olympics. All she had to do was stay healthy and for that she relied on one person: Larry Nassar.

At the ranch training camp before the 2012 Games, Nassar molested her at least twice a day, she said, and the abuse continued even after the team got to London.

On the first day of practice, she injured her foot on a vault, she said. The outcome of an X-ray was to determine if she would be part of the Fierce Five when the competition started or if an alternate would take her place.

Nassar, she said, told team coordinator Marta Karolyi that the X-ray showed it was just an old break that had been aggravated. "He lied so I could stay on the team," she said. "He saved me."

Related: See Nassar in court prior to his sentencing: 

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Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, in court
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Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, in court
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands with his legal team during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands with his legal team during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar,a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, listens as Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis speaks at his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (L) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, sits in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, arrives in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Asst. Michigan Attorney General Angela M. Povilaitis (L) speaks during the hearing of former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listen with (2nd R) defense attorneys Shannon Smith (2nd L) and Matt Newberg (R) in 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar watches a video his interview with the police in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar (C) with defense attorneys Shannon Smith (L) and Matt Newberg (R) in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Maroney went on to help Team USA win gold with a near-perfect vault but took silver in the individual because of a fall — a moment that spawned her disappointed smirk on the podium and a viral meme that even President Obama imitated.

A year later, she vindicated herself with a gold medal on vault at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium. It was the last time she saw Nassar at a major competition.

"I was mad at that point. He was still abusing me and it still wasn't clicking in my head to really understand what was happening. But I was so done with it," she said. "There were younger girls and I knew that he was doing it to them, as well."

In the summer of 2015, Maroney got a much clearer understanding of what Nassar had been doing. USA Gymnastics, alerted to Nassar's behavior by a coach, sent a consultant with experience dealing with child sex abuse victims to talk to her.

"And I told her my story," Maroney said.

Maroney then spoke to the FBI by phone, but he was not arrested for more than a year — a period in which he continued molesting patients at his clinic in Michigan.

Maroney, meanwhile, was an emotional wreck, suffering from anxiety and depression. "I was so sick," she said. "I was having panic attacks. I was suicidal." Her mother, Erin, has said there were times she feared opening the door to McKayla's room because of what she might find.

The family hired an attorney because, they said, they needed money to pay for mental-health treatment. USA Gymnastics settled but included a confidentiality clause in the agreement. Maroney later sued to invalidate the clause and, amid public outrage, USA Gymnastics announced it would not enforce it.

After Nassar was unmasked as a predator in September 2016 by the Indianapolis Star, new victims came forward every week. Maroney, though, would not be ready to go public for more than a year. When she did, she posted a searing statement on Twitter and went quiet again.

Maroney, 22, said she is speaking now because she doesn't believe the whole story has been told.

She wants the world to know that when Nassar was abusing her, no one was watching and that when she tried to tell someone about him six years ago, no action was taken.

"I'm appalled, I'm disgusted. I'm so upset that this happened for so long when there were so many signs and red flags," she said.

Maroney is retired from gymnastics now and pursuing a singing career. She quit the sport in February 2016, abandoning her goal of a second Olympics. She said that if it weren't for the trauma caused by Nassar, she might have joined her Fierce Five teammates Raisman and Gabby Douglas on the 2016 Final Five squad and won gold again.

"I lost my dream," she said. "That was what I loved to do and what I still would have loved to do. And it was taken away from me."

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