A sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University will plead guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and face at least 25 years in prison, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Tuesday.
The person was not authorized to publicly discuss the agreement ahead of a Wednesday court hearing for Dr. Larry Nassar in Michigan’s Ingham County and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Nassar, 54, is charged with molesting seven girls, all but one of whom were gymnasts, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic. He’s facing similar charges in a neighbouring county and lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls.
Olympians among victims
Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among Nassar’s victims.
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. In Michigan, inmates are eligible for parole after serving a minimum sentence.
The girls have testified that Nassar molested them with his hands, sometimes when a parent was present in the room, while they sought help for gymnastics injuries.
“He convinced these girls that this was some type of legitimate treatment,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis told a judge last summer. “Why would they question him? Why would they question this gymnastics god?”
Separately, Nassar is charged with similar crimes in Eaton County, the location of an elite gymnastics club. He also is awaiting sentencing in federal court on child pornography charges.