USA Gymnastics doctor finally admits to heinous sex abuse crimes (video)

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After months of denying mounting accusations that he sexually abused the young girls he was supposedly “treating”, disgraced Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, 54, finally broke down and admitted his guilt on Wednesday.

Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County Circuit Court as many of his alleged victims stood in the courtroom and watched, according to Detroit News.

Nassar will also plead guilty to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County court next Wednesday, avoiding a trial that was set for Dec. 4, Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said Wednesday. This brings the total to 10 first-degree criminal sexual conduct counts involving nine victims.

Each of the counts is punishable by 25 to 40 years in prison, according to the report. All victims can give impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing, including the 125 victims who reported incidents of the doctor’s sexual misconduct to Michigan State University. All complainants agreed with the plea deal, Povilaitis said.

Nassar verbally acknowledged the charges in court. As part of the plea deal, he’s agreed to lifetime electronic monitoring. His admission came months after six women and three minors testified for hours earlier this year about what he had done to them, and the effect it’s had on the rest of their lives.

More than 140 others joined a civil lawsuit against Nassar, and more than 100 complained to MSU officials. Several Olympic gymnasts also claimed during television interviews (see below) or on social media that he assaulted him.

Nassar reportedly gained the young gymnasts’ trust and then went on to molest them. Most said he digitally penetrated them without gloves, lubricant or consent while treating them for injuries.

According to the Detroit News report, “In some cases, the treatments lasted up to 45 minutes. At times their parents were in the room while he was abusing them but the young women said he positioned himself so their parents couldn’t see what he was doing.”

“I think this is important, what I’ve done today to help move the community forward and away from the hurting, let the healing start,” Nassar said after his guilty plea. “A couple things I could do to stop the hurting, is this. And I think that’s important. For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control.”

He claimed that he prays the rosary every day for forgiveness and wants the victims to heal and move forward, saying, “I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. … We need to move forward.”

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nasser, “I agree that now is the time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime a healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”

“You used your position of trust that you had in the most vile way, to abuse children,” she said.

After the guilty plea, Rachael Denhollander, one of Nasser’s victims, spoke at a press conference, saying she was glad the truth was finally exposed, but she slammed Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics officials for “keeping Larry in power for decades.” She said the officials “ignored repeated reports of sexual assault, and who brushed victims off as unable to tell the difference between a medical exam and sexual violation.”

“For decades MSU and USAG athletic trainers, supervisors, head coaches, and even psychologists received first-hand testimony of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry. Each and every time, MSU officials silenced these victims,” she said.

Nassar’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 12, 2018.

 

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