The former doctor of the U.S. Gymnastic Federation is in jail for possession of child pornography and is investigated for sexual assault on more than 70 women
The whole world shuddered due to the scandal of Larry Nassar, former doctor of the U.S. Gymnastic Federation, who is being held on charges of child pornography and who is now denounced for sexual abuse by dozens of athletes.
The former doctor was arrested by the FBI in December 2016 on charges of child pornography because they found on him more than 37,000 pornographic images of girls up to 6 years of age and a video in which the former doctor is seen harassing various girls who were inside a pool.
In January 2017, the Nassar’s medical license was suspended and in April of the same year it was revoked for three years. In the month of July 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. He’s currently being detained and is being tried again due to complaints of sexual abuse.
Nassar, 53 years old, was a licensed osteopath in charge of the physical recovery of athletes through muscle massage. He began his medical career in gymnastics by volunteering at the Twistars Gymnastics Club in the city of Dimondale, Michigan, to then be invited to the Karoly Ranch in Texas where the elite gymnasts of the United States train for a week each month.
Nassar worked for the U.S. Olympic Team for approximately 30 years and worked in parallel in the College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Michigan State University (MSU).
Since last year, there have been dozens of allegations of sexual abuse, some of which have become well know like the case of the Olympic champions Aly Rasiman, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles, winner of four gold medals in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
Likewise, Jade Capua, Alexis Moore, Donna Markham. and Kyle Stephens were among the hundreds of women who went to testify in court against Nassar in Lansing, Michigan. “He stole my innocence, privacy, security and trust, it changed my life, it stole my innocence too young”, the former gymnast Jade Capua said in the audience.
Donna Markham, mother of Chelsea Markham, one of the gymnasts attended by Larry Nassar and who due of the traumas caused by their abuse began to use drugs and ended up committing suicide in 2009, also testified in court: “She couldn’t stand the pain anymore and it all started with you”, said crying and looking at Nassar.
Kyle Stephens, who unlike most victims isn’t linked to gymnastics, reported that Nassar, who was a friend of his parents, abused her from 6 to 12 years of age. “He exposed his genitals in a dark room in the basement and said: 'If you ever want to see them, all you have to do is ask for them”, said Stephens who in turn assured that his parents never believed her.
It wasn’t until 2016 when the misdeeds of Nassar came to light, which caused the suicide of Kyle’s father because he couldn’t bear the guilt.
Alexis Moore, for his part, denounced Nassar with the following words: “He betrayed my trust, took advantage of my youth, and abused me hundreds of times”, and ended with a question to the former doctor: “Are you sorry for all the lives that changed forever?”. Nassar will continue to face the sentencing process that could condemn him from 40 to 125 years in prison.
Dozens of testimonies continue to be captured in the trial. “The monster that took advantage of you is going to wither in jail”, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told one of the victims she testified. The United States, mired in a series of scandals and reports of abuse and sexual harassment, will continue to work to in mask and condemn unscrupulous people like Nassar who stain the sport and other scenarios.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto