On Wednesday, Dr. Larry Nassar, a sports doctor who has been accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, just pled guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault. He will face at least 25 years in prison, reported the New York Post.
The 54-year-old was charged with molesting seven girls. It mostly occurred under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic. All but one of his accusers was a gymnast.
Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly come forward as Nassar’s victims.
He faces similar charges in a neighboring county. Lawsuits have been filed by more than 125 women and girls.
Some of his accusers attended the hearing Wednesday in the Ingham County courtroom. Some were crying.
Nassar admitted to the abuse, and he agreed that his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.
The plea deal in Ingham County calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. However, a judge could set the minimum sentence at as high as forty years. After he served his minimum sentence, he would be eligible for parole in the state of Michigan.
Sentencing was set for January 12th, 2018.
The girls have testified that Nassar molested them with his hands. This sometimes occurred when a parent was present in the room while they were seeking help for gymnastics injuries.
“He convinced these girls that this was some type of legitimate treatment,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis told a judge last summer. “Why would they question him? Why would they question this gymnastics god?”
Nassar is charged with similar crimes in Eaton County, which is the location of an elite gymnastics club. He also is awaiting sentencing in federal court on child pornography charges.
The Michigan criminal cases against Nassar followed reports last year in the Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches. The Women and girls have said that the Star’s story inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse.
On Tuesday, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas became the latest gymnast to accuse Nassar. She revealed her abuse in an Instagram post.
Please pray that these young women can heal now that their abuser will be behind bars. In other news, David Cassidy passed away yesterday. Please pray for his family.