Breaking down the Larry Nassar case as sentencing draws near
Victims have chance to speak in court during sentencing
LANSING, Mich. – For more than three decades, Larry Nassar was given access to young and vulnerable girls who needed medical attention, and he sexually abused many of them.
Nassar admitted he used his high stature and position in the gymnastics and Olympic world to posture himself for unbridled and unquestioned access to young victims.
But two years ago, his disturbing world fell apart. His secret came out, and now his sexual assault victims will get to tell him face-to-face the traumatic impact he's had on their lives.
Nassar's sentencing will begin Tuesday. He's already been sentenced in federal court, but to the young gymnasts, this is their case.
How the case got here
The way the Nassar case got to this point can be confusing. There are three criminal cases, 37,000 images of child porn and hundreds of abused victims in the case.
Nassar's began practicing in 1980, but an Indianapolis Star investigation in 2016 is when the true timeline starts. The investigation looked into sexual abuse allegations at USA Gymnastics.
The report opened the floodgates of victims coming forward, such as Rachael DenHollander, who raised her hand first.
"It felt very uncomfortable, very degrading," DenHollander said. "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."
In September 2016, Michigan State University fired Nassar. Two months later, criminal charges were filed in Ingham County, accusing Nassar of sexually abusing young girls.
By then, the Michigan Attorney General's Office had heard from about 50 victims.
In December 2016, new federal child pornography charges accused Nassar of having 37,000 pictures and videos.
Two months later, in February 2017, more charges were added to Nassar's case, as the number of victims grew to 80.
"Someone I trusted more than anyone in the world ended up being someone who hurt me so immensely," another victim said.
Last July, Nassar pleaded guilty to the federal child porn charges, but the sexual abuse charges were still pending.
One of the biggest bombshells in the case came when three members of the Fierce Five -- gold medal members of the USA Gymnastics team -- also came forward. McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas revealed they were Nassar victims.
Simone Biles announced Monday she was also a victim.
"I was just really innocent," Aly Raisman told "60 Minutes." "I trusted him."
Near the end of 2017, the Nassar story started moving much faster. The number of victims grew to nearly 140. He took a plea deal in November, pleading guilty to sexual assault charges in both Ingham and Eaton counties.
"You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way -- to abuse children," a victim said.
His deal will have him serving at least 25 years in prison, but that's on top of his federal sentence of 60 years behind bars, which was handed down in December 2017.
It's essentially a life sentence for Nassar, who's in his 50s.
Now, a judge will allow Nassar's victims to speak in court. He will hear from 60 or more of the women who want to speak in court.
"From where it started to where it is now, it's been an emotional roller-coaster," victim Kaylee Lorincz said. "I'm so happy that I've decided to come forward."
Sentencing begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday. ClickOnDetroit will have live coverage all day.
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