A former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually abusing three Olympic medalists among dozens of other young women and girls pleaded guilty to multiple charges of criminal sexual assault.
Dr. Larry Nassar on Wednesday admitted to abusing seven girls under the guise of treatment at his home and campus clinics as part of a plea agreement that will put him behind bars for at least 25 years. Three of the charges applied to victims under the age of 13 and another three involved victims between 13 and 15 years old, CNN reported. The plea also allows him to avoid a life sentence.
“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 said after entering his guilty plea, adding that he wanted to “stop the hurting” within the gymnastics community.
Nassar, who also had a sports medicine practice at Michigan State University, is facing similar charges in lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls.
Gabby Douglas claims perverted team doctor abused her as well
Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among his many accusers — all three of the medalists recently revealed their experiences with the disgraced doctor amid the “#metoo” social media campaign, aimed at raising awareness on issues of sexual harassment and assault.
Maroney alleged in a Tweet last month that Nassar drugged her during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo and then molested her in his hotel room.
“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night,” she wrote.
USA Gymnastics fired Nassar in 2015, which is when it said it became aware of the allegations against him.
While the plea hearing was unfolding, Raisman tweeted that she was “disgusted” and slammed those calling Nassar a doctor.
“Court referring to Larry Nassar as DOCTOR Nassar. I AM DISGUSTED. I am very disappointed. He does NOT deserve that. Larry is disgusting. Larry is a monster not a DOCTOR.”
His victims will be given permission to speak during his sentencing hearing on Jan. 12.
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