Ex-USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar Pleads Guilty To First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

The former USA gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
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Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty today to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Lansing, Michigan. He faces between 25 to 40 years in prison.

Nassar, 54, has been charged with molesting seven girls. He is facing similar charges in the Michigan area, which have been filed by more than 125 women and girls. The girls testified that Nassar molested them with his hands when they consulted him for treatment and help regarding gymnastics injuries.

Nassar acknowledged that he assaulted the young women.

"You used your position of trust in the most vile way. To abuse children," the judge said to Nassar, according to USA Today's Nancy Armour.

The judge announced that all 125 reported victims or their parents, as well as other acts victims, will be able to give statements at the sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. The hearing will take place all day and Jan. 19 will be available to use, if needed. 

The plea comes just one day after three-time Olympic gold medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas revealed that she is also among Nassar's victims. Her 2012 U.S. Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney had previously come forward with their own detailed accounts of Nassar's abuse.

Raisman was not able to read her letter for the sentencing hearing but published it on The Players Tribune. She detailed her problems with anxiety as a result of Nassar's abuse. Raisman called on the judge to impose the maximum sentence on Nassar.

"Maybe by speaking out, by sharing my story and the way my daily life continues to be impacted by Larry’s depraved actions, I can help other survivors feel less alone, less isolated, and encourage them to speak up and to get help," Raisman concludes in her letter. "I ask that you give Larry the strongest possible sentence (which his actions deserve), for by doing so, you will send a message to him and to other abusers that they cannot get away with their horrible crimes, that they will be exposed for the evil they are, and they will be punished to the maximum extent of the law. Maybe knowing that Larry is being held accountable for his abuse will help me and the other survivors feel less alone, like we’re being heard, and open up pathways for healing."

Nassar is also awaiting sentencing in federal court on child pornography charges. His next court date is Nov. 29 in Eaton County.