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In 2015, USA Gymnastics cut ties with Nassar “after learning of athlete concerns”. In September 2016, The Indianapolis Star revealed that two former gymnasts had accused Nassar of sex abuse. Michigan State fired him on September 20; he had been reassigned from clinical and teaching duties a month earlier. In February 2017, three former gymnasts—Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard and Jamie Dantzscher—gave an interview with 60 Minutes in which they said that Nassar had sexually abused them. The gymnasts also alleged that the “emotionally abusive environment” at the national team training camps run by Béla and Márta Károlyi at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas gave Nassar an opportunity to take advantage of the gymnasts and made them afraid to speak up about the abuse.
Rachael Denhollander, one of the first women to publicly accuse Nassar, said in court in May 2017 that Nassar sexually abused her on five doctor’s visits in 2000, when she was 15 years of age. Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, using the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter, stated that Nassar repeatedly molested her, starting when she was 13 years old and until she retired from the sport in 2016. Maroney subsequently filed a lawsuit against Nassar, Michigan State University, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics.
The lawsuit accused USA Gymnastics of covering up the sexual abuse by making Maroney sign a $1.25 million non-disclosure agreement. During a 60 Minutes interview, Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman also said that Nassar had sexually abused her. Raisman stated that Nassar molested her when she was 15 years of age. Gabby Douglas drew criticism from fellow Olympic teammate Simone Biles and others for sending a tweet that they interpreted as criticizing Raisman and of “victim-shaming”, stating that “dressing in a provocative/sexual way incites the wrong crowd”. Douglas later apologized for the tweet, and said she was also a victim of Nassar’s alleged abuse. Former National Team member Maggie Nichols accused Nassar of abusing her. She documented the ways he “groomed” her by connecting with her on Facebook and complimenting her appearance on numerous occasions.
According to court filings and interviews, it was Nichols and her coach, Sarah Jantzi, who reported Nassar to USA Gymnastics officials on June 17, 2015, after the coach overheard Maggie and another gymnast talking about Nassar’s behavior. Simone Biles came forward shortly after with accounts that she too had been sexually abused by Nassar, and Jordyn Wieber made a statement at Nassar’s court sentencing in which she also accused Nassar of sexually abusing her during her time at USA Gymnastics. Sex abuse conviction.
Nassar was charged with felonies at the state and federal level. In November 2016, Nassar was indicted on state charges of sexual assault of a child from 1998 to 2005; the crimes allegedly began when the victim was six years old. Ultimately, he was charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors: fifteen in Ingham County and seven in neighboring Eaton County. The allegations asserted that Nassar had molested seven girls under the guise of providing legitimate treatment at his home and at a clinic on the MSU campus.
Nassar was arrested by the FBI in December 2016 after agents found more than 37,000 images of child pornography and a video of Nassar molesting underage girls. On April 6, 2017, his medical license was revoked for three years. On July 11, 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, possession of numerous pornographic images, and tampering with evidence—he had destroyed and concealed the images. On December 7, 2017, U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neffsentenced Nassar to 60 years in federal prison. If he is ever released, he will be on supervised release for the rest of his life, and will also have to register as a sex offender. His earliest possible release from federal custody will be March 23, 2069.
On November 22, 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty in Ingham County Circuit Court to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors under the age of sixteen. He admitted molesting seven girls, three of whom were under the age of thirteen. On November 29, he pleaded guilty to an additional three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County. As of 18 January 2018, 135 women had accused Nassar of sexual assault while he worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. During the following week, the number rose to 150. In a lawsuit that was filed in April 2017, a woman claimed that Nassar had sexually assaulted her while he was still in medical school in 1992. On January 24, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of minors.
This sentence, plus any sentence pronounced in Eaton County Circuit Court, will begin upon completion of his federal child pornography sentence; Neff had ordered that any sentences imposed at state level run consecutively with the federal sentence.
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