Most people enter a medical field because they have a desire to help others. Sickeningly, Dr. Larry Nassar became a gymnast physician so that he could molest young girls.
Nassar’s abuse goes back to at least 1998, when a young gymnast complained that he made her feel uncomfortable. Sadly, her coach and family brushed the allegations aside, saying that what she was experiencing was “normal.” Today, Nassar is facing a federal lawsuit from 18 women and girls who allege that he repeatedly molested them for years during physical examinations.
As a gymnast physician, Nassar was respected. From 1996 to 2015, he worked with the USA Gymnastics team, attending four Olympics. He also worked with female gymnasts at Michigan State University and Twisters USA during this time.
So far, 18 victims have come forward with allegations of abuse. Most were teenagers during the incidents, but some were as young as nine years old. Nassar is facing 22 felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, as well as three federal child pornography charges. His hearing is set for March 2.
Nassar may have been caught sooner if authorities had listened to accusations from his patients. Along with the girl who came forward in 1998 was a 2014 MSU investigation, which determined that the victim did not know “the nuanced difference between sexual assault and an appropriate medical procedure.”
Reportedly, MSU is currently investigating more than 80 reports of sexual misconduct against Nassar. They’ve complied thousands of supporting documents and interviewed nearly 300 people. The USA Gymnastics team has made a public statement, saying:
“When we first learned of athlete concerns regarding Dr. Nassar in the summer of 2015, we immediately notified the FBI and relieved him of any further assignments. USA Gymnastics has fully cooperated with the FBI in its investigation. We find it appalling that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in this manner, and we are grateful to the athletes who have come forward.”
To learn more about this heinous case, check out the news report below.