Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor, would inescapably be sentenced to a long time in jail next January, after pleading guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
His trial held at a Michigan court on Wednesday
In a press statement Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Nassar had pleaded guilty in Michigan’s Ingham County court to felony criminal sexual conduct related to abuse under the guise of medical treatment
Nassar’s sentencing hearing has been set for January 12 when all of the 125 victims or their parents will be allowed to give victim impact statements.
Nassar was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.
Nassar had originally 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 Michigan Attorney General’s office agreed not to file additional charges after Wednesday’s plea.
The plea deal with prosecutors calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years but the judge could set the minimum as high as 40 years.
Nassar’s plea deal follows claims by two of the United States’ s most decorated gymnasts Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas that they had been sexually abused by the former USA Gymnastics team doctor.
Three-times Olympic gold medalist Douglas said on Tuesday she was sexually abused by Nassar while Raisman, also a three-times gold medalist, made similar allegations in an interview with CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
In a statement after the plea in court on Wednesday, Vassar’s attorneys, Matt Newburg and Shannon Smith, said that the “agreement resolves all the charged and uncharged conduct for more than 125 cases currently under investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s office”.
Nassar Victims speak:
Victim A disclosed that she was 10 years old the first time she was sexually assaulted by Nassar. At Twistars, Nassar would come on Monday nights to treat the gymnasts. Nassar would use the back room at the gym to work. This particular Monday, Victim A signed up to see Nassar. Nassar was to readjust her ribs. While pressing on her back, Nassar pulled her leotard up and touched her vagina. Victim A stated Nassar’s bare hand and fingers went “in between the flaps” of her vagina. Victim A stated she felt “grossed out”. Nassar did not wear gloves, did not tell her he would be vaginally penetrating her nor did he obtain consent from either Victim A or Victim A’s parents.
Victim B stated her mother would sit in front of her. Nassar would massage her buttocks, hamstrings, and IT bands. As Nassar massaged Victim B, he would put his fingers in her vagina and thumb in her anus. Victim B stated that one time, he “wiggled” his finger in her vagina. Nassar would penetrate her vagina and anus during the entire appointment, which was about a half hour. Victim B was under the age of 13 at the time of each of these assaults.
Victim C was 15 years old when she was treated by Nassar. Victim C’s first appointment with Nassar was on February 2, 2000. Nassar evaluated Victim C. Nassar told her that her back muscles were not “firing properly”, causing extra back pressure. Nassar suggested myofascial release and osteopathic sports massage. While she was standing, Nassar inserted two fingers into her vagina. Victim C reported she was aware of inter-vaginal treatment, but didn’t know what it looked like. Nassar did not wear gloves and did not obtain consent from Victim C or her mother
Victim D stated Nassar massaged her vagina underneath her underwear and put his hand inside her vagina. Nassar did not use gloves or lubricant. Victim D and her mother were never told by Nassar that he would be vaginally penetrating her nor did they consent
Victim E stated that Nassar told he was performing myofascial release on her. During the procedure, Nassar went underneath the shorts and her underwear and penetrated her vagina. Nassar moved his fingers inside her vagina for more than ten minutes. He was not wearing any gloves. Neither Victim E nor her parents were told by Nassar that he would penetrate Victim E’s vagina and they did not consent.
Victim F stated that when her mother was in the room, Nassar covered her with a sheet. If her mother stood up to see what was happening, Nassar stopped penetrating her. Victim F stated that the penetration became more aggressive and invasive over time. During her appointments, she would grit her teeth to prevent from yelping in pain. Nassar would anally and vaginally penetrate her for approximately 45 minutes. Nassar would also touch her breasts. Victim F stated that at times, Nassar would have one hand in her vagina with the other on her breast
Victim G reported she saw Nassar weekly. Victim G stated she was vaginally penetrated during most of these appointments. Victim G stated she would take off her t-shirt and Nassar would pull down her shorts and underwear. Nassar would then vaginally penetrate her.
*Source: Affidavit in Support of Complaint filed on February 21, 2017