Former US Olympic Gymnastics Doctor Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse

Kristen Gonzales
November 26, 2017

As expected, former United States of America gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven counts of first-degree criminal conduct, as reported by CNN, having used the power of his position to sexually abuse underage girls.

The criminal cases against Nassar followed reports previous year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches.

On Wednesday she watched as Nassar admitted to sexually assaulting her and six others who were all 15 or younger at the time. They include Larissa Boyce, Alexis Alvarado, Christine Harrison and Jessica Smith, who were in court on Wednesday for Nassar's hearing.

Today Judge Rosemarie Aquilina asked Larry Nassar if there was anything he wanted to say. I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control. "I want people to know that I really didn't know what was happening to me", Raisman said on the Today Show earlier in November.

"I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness", he said at one point. "He was a doctor and he told me that his treatment would help heal all of my injuries". In exchange, the prosecution will dismiss all other charges and the Attorney General's office would not prosecute Nassar for any other criminal sexual conduct cases reported to police. Her attorney issued a statement in part saying Klages would never do anything to put any of them in harm's way and that Dr. Nassar was trusted by Ms. Klages to competently and ethically treat her team members. She also applauded the victims in the courtroom for "finding their voices". "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.

"We need to take a hard, honest look at the sport's culture, governance and leadership, so we can understand the problem and come up with solutions that will make the sport safer for current and future generations", Raisman said on Twitter shortly after Nassar's hearing.

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Nassar, who was the team US gymnastics doctor for over 20 years, wasn't fired until 2015, although complaints had been mounting for decades.

She also said she's not buying his apology. "I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood".

"That's our choice, not his", Jessica Smith said.

More than 100 women and girls have accused Nassar of sexual misconduct and they include some legendary women in gymnastics: Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas. This was a man that we trusted, and he's admitting that what he did was wrong and evil.

Harrison said while it wasn't easy to do, she's happy she attended the hearing.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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