Tag Archive: dr. larry nassar


 

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Disturbing details have come to light in the scandal surrounding USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused by 265 women and girls of sexual abuse dating as far back as 1992. When the FBI began its investigation of Nassar in July 2015, no effort was made by USA Gymnastics officials to warn other potential victims of Nassar. At least 40 of the victims were abused after the FBI began its investigation. Many of his victims were sexually abused under the pretense of providing medical treatment but he has also been accused of molesting children of family friends.
Nassar was the USA Gymnastics national team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. For 15 years, he worked at the Karolyi Ranch, a gymnastics camp facility and the main training center for the United States women’s national gymnastics team. USA Gymnastics said that its executives first learned of “athlete concerns” regarding Nassar in June 2015. Following a five week investigation, he was fired and reported to the FBI in July 2015. They quietly cut ties with Nassar in July 2015, leaving him to continue to work at Michigan State-treating athletes and children at a university clinic until August 2016. Reports have revealed that USA Gymnastics (USAG) board members were aware of accusations against Nassar well before their initial claim in 2015.
Michigan State had first received a complaint against Nassar in 2014 but an investigation into the complaint found no violation of policy. Under an agreement, Nassar was allowed to continue treating patients under certain agreed upon restrictions but no monitoring was instituted. Michigan State fired him for violation of that agreement on September 20 2016 after another woman filed a complaint of sexual abuse.
In November 2016, Nassar was indicted on state charges of sexual assault of a child from 1998 to 2005. He was charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors. Nassar was finally arrested by the FBI in December 2016 after agents found more than 37,000 images of child pornography and a video of Nassar molesting underage girls. On December 7, 2017, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. On January 24th 2017, in Ingham County Circuit Court, he was sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of minors. On February 5, 2018 Eaton County Circuit Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced Nassar to 40 to 125 years in prison for the three counts of criminal sexual assault.
Since the scandal broke, all 18 members of the USAG Board of Directors has resigned amid accusations of negligence. In response to the scandal, USAG adopted reforms based on a June 2017 report by an investigator hired to review the organization’s policies and practices. One of the changes is a requirement that all USAG members report any suspected sexual misconduct to appropriate authorities and the US Center for SafeSport.

 

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Dr. Larry Nassar, the acclaimed osteopathic physician accused of molesting over 100 young athletes and children while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pled guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault.  Nassar, the 53-year-old father of three appeared in an Ingham County courtroom on seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving girls who were 15 years old or younger.  He remains in custody while awaiting sentencing on those charges.

The charges relate to Nassar’s time as a faculty member at Michigan State University, from 1997 to 2016, when, the university said, he was fired after the allegations surfaced.  Three of those charges applied to victims under 13, and three applied to victims 13 to 15 years old.   Nassar had been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level but the other charges were dismissed or reduced as part of a plea agreement.   Nassar also agreed to a minimum sentence of 25-40 years in prison.

As part of the plea agreement, the Michigan Attorney General’s office will no longer prosecute cases reported to MSUPD, which is a total of 115 cases.  In exchange for Nassar’s admissions of guilt, U.S. attorneys in Michigan will not pursue charges related to “interstate/international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places,” between 2006 and 2012 involving two other children.  Prosecutors also agreed to not pursue allegations that Nassar assaulted two children in his family’s swimming pool in the summer of 2015.

Separately, Nassar is also awaiting sentencing on federal charges of receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography and a charge that he hid and destroyed evidence in the case.  In that plea deal, Nassar has agreed to plead guilty to three federal charges related to possession of child pornography with each charge carrying a potential sentence of up to 20 years.   In exchange, U.S. attorneys will recommend a combined prison sentence of about 22 to 27 years for all crimes.   All 125 victims who reported assaults to Michigan State Police will be allowed to give victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing, according to the plea deal.

Seven former Team USA gymnasts and dozens of other women have accused Nassar of sexual assault.  Nassar served as a volunteer physician for USA Gymnastics, the organization that trains and selects Team USA gymnasts, for nearly 30 years, and treated gymnasts at four Summer Olympics.   Nassar also worked full-time in the school of osteopathic medicine at Michigan State, where he treated the Spartans’ gymnasts and other college athletes.  The majority of the more than 100 women who have sued Nassar and Michigan State have alleged assault in connection with his employment at the university.

Officials at USA Gymnastics have received heavy criticism over their handling of the situation.  Once they were aware of allegations, they investigated on their own for five weeks before reporting him to the FBI.USA Gymnastics ended its relationship with Nassar in July 2015, but did not publicize the separation.  In that time, Nassar continued to work at Michigan State, and treat athletes and children at a university clinic, until last August, when a woman filed a criminal complaint with the university police.