Former USA Gymnastics Doctor to Plead Guilty to Child-Porn Charges

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Larry Nassar appears in court. Photo: Getty Images

Dr. Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University doctor who was the team physician for USA Gymnastics during four Olympic Games, will plead guilty to three charges, including receipt and possession of child pornography and destruction and concealment of records, the Detroit News reported Monday. As part of the plea deal, Nassar — who’s been accused of sexually assaulting more than 100 gymnasts — won’t be prosecuted for allegedly molesting underage girls at his home, in his swimming pool, and during “interstate/international travel,” according to ESPN.

FBI agents charged Nassar with possession of child porn in December, with one agent testifying that 37,000 pictures and videos were found at his home, along with “videos allegedly depicting Nassar in his swimming pool sexually assaulting young girls.” Depending on how he’s sentenced, Nassar could spend between 5 and 60 years in prison.

If the court accepts the plea deal, one of four criminal cases against Nassar would be concluded. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has filed three other cases against him, one of which reportedly charges him with 22 counts of “first-degree criminal sexual conduct.” If he’s convicted in that case, he could spend life in prison.

But the dozens of former gymnasts interviewed by the FBI were surprised when they heard their cases wouldn’t be going forward on a federal level. “It bothered me because all of our molestation cases didn’t get justice,” a former national team gymnast who met with the FBI and federal prosecutors told ESPN. She went on, “He deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail. He doesn’t deserve to be around people, especially children.”

Meanwhile John Manly, a lawyer representing several former gymnasts in civil cases, harshly criticized the deal to the the Orange County Register. “The government is albeit unintentionally sending a message that molesting young athletes while far away from their families and competing for our country will not be taken seriously,” he said.

USA Gymnastics Doctor to Plead Guilty to Child-Porn Charges