Larry Nassar expected to plead guilty to sexually assaulting young gymnasts
Former Team USA, Michigan State University physician expected to take plea deal
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Doctor Larry Nassar is set to plead guilty to sexually assaulting dozens of young athletes.
Nassar is expected in court Wednesday, just a day after another gymnast came forward with accusations. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas said she's also a victim of sexual abuse from Nassar. She posted to Instagram:
"I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful."
Douglas is the third member of the USA's gold-winning 2012 Olympic team to come forward. Ally Raisman called Nassar a monster.
"I think he's a monster and I think it's so disturbing what he did to me and to so many other people. This is so much bigger than just me. It's a such a horrifying thing to happen," said Raisman.
Nassar is accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of girls while he served as team doctor for Team USA, Michigan State University and for a gymnastics center in Dimondale, Mich. However, despite the hundreds of victims who have come forward, Wednesday's plea deal only focuses on a few victims such as Rachel Denhollander, who described the abuse when she was in court.
"It felt very uncomfortable, very degrading. Why? Because it was so intimate, because he was where he wasn't supposed to be but my presumption was this was what I needed to get better," she said.
Nassar is charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and was scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 4. Instead he is expected to take a plea deal which could get him a minimum prison sentence of 25 years.
Nassar pleads guilty to child pornography charges
In July, Nassar pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. The physician was arrested last year on the child pornography charges including receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and destruction and concealment of records and tangible objects.
Nassar agreed to plead guilty to all of those charges. As part of the plea agreement he will not be prosecuted for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, as well as interstate or international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct. Those charges were related to an incident which is alleged to have occurred in Nassar's swimming pool with two children in the summer of 2015.
A court document alleged that on Sept. 18, 2004 and Dec. 1, 2004, Nassar received child pornography that was sent to him over the Internet. The document says that between Feb. 6, 2003 and Sept, 20, 2016, Nassar was in possession of computer disks and electronic files that had thousands of images of child pornography. Some of the images allegedly included a minor who was younger than 12 years old, officials said.
By pleading guilty, Nassar admits he knowingly received child pornography, knew that the material was child pornography and that it had been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including a computer.
He could face no less than 5 years and not more than 20 years in prison. He also could have to pay a $250,000 fine for each count.
Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.