US Gymnastics team doctor Nassar pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct
Nov 25, 2017, 01:05
The former USA Gymnastics team doctor at the center of a sexual assault scandal, pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in a MI court.
In total, 125 victims reported assaults to Michigan State Police will be allowed to give victim impact statements at Nassar's upcoming sentencing. In the wake of the court case, Olympic medal victor McKayla Maroney spoke out against her sport's governing body, and the team for the way they handled the years of abuse that many athletes faced at the hands of Nassar. He was Michigan State University's team physician for gymnastics and women's crew for almost 20 years.
Image Gabby Douglas Aly Raisman and Mc Kayla Maroney are among Nassar's accusers
While the case against Nassar uncovered a decades-long sex abuse scandal within USA Gymnastics, the former president of the organization was forced to step down this year.
He told the court: "I'm so sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire, out of control".
The plea deal in Ingham County calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but a judge could set the minimum sentence as high as 40 years. I have no animosity toward any one. I want them to heal. I just want healing.
Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney accused Nassar of sexually abused them when they were teenagers.
Nassar had originally been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level but the Michigan Attorney General's office agreed not to file additional charges after Wednesday's plea.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina responded to Nassar's apology by saying, "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".
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