Amidst the sexual misconduct revelations rocking the entertainment, political, and mainstream media worlds, one man is facing more accusations than just about anyone else. Around 130 women and girls have filed suit against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar over claims that he sexually abused them. On Wednesday, Nassar pled guilty to criminal charges.
According to ABC News, 54-year-old Nassar, who was fired from the team in 2015, pled guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct with minors over the course of at least two decades. His tone in court was apologetic.
"I think this is important to have what I've done today to help move the community forward and away from the hurting and let the healing start. I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into forest fire out of control,” Nassar said.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina replied, “You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way to abuse children. I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing. I'm not going to speak for them. They're going to have that opportunity at sentencing, and that will strengthen and heal them. I agree, and I'm glad you recognize that, but it does fall very short.”
Among those who have accused him are Olympic gymnasts and gold medalists like Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Raisman especially has made her fury at USA Gymnastics known for allowing the abuse to go on for so long.
Upon Nassar’s guilty plea, Raisman let her thoughts be known on Instagram.
“It is about time that Larry plead guilty and owned up to his actions. I am beyond disgusted that a decorated Olympics and USA Gymnastics doctor was able to prey upon so many over such a long period of time,” Raisman wrote. “Until we fully understand the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen in the first place — and enabled it to continue for decades — we can’t be confident it won’t happen again.”
“We need more than optimistic assurances,” she demanded, “we need answers. We need to take a hard, honest look at the sport’s culture, governance, and leadership, so we can understand the problem, and come up with solutions that will make the sport safer for current and future generations.”
“I am determined to work towards real and meaningful change. Abuse is never ok; ONE TIME IS TOO MANY AND ONE PERSON IS TOO MANY. We may never know how many others may be suffering in silence,” she concluded, “therefore it is important for us to have an environment where it is safe and comfortable for those to come forward.”
What do you think of this? In related news, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas got into a spat over “victim shaming” before Douglas revealed that she, too, was abused by Nassar.