Dr. Larry Nassar, the previously celebrated osteopathic physician, has been ordered to stand trial for multiple counts of criminal sexual assault. Nassar, who specialized in sports medicine, was a faculty member at Michigan State University, and the team physician for USA Gymnastics, was accused last year of assaulting both women and girls who were under his care.
According to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, his office was involved with multiple other jurisdictions and law enforcement officials in the investigation, including the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. In addition, the Michigan State Police had assigned 11 full-time investigators to Nassar’s case
Nassar appeared before 55th District Court Judge Donald Allen Jr., who listened to the evidence and then bound Nassar over to circuit court to stand trial. Nassar has been charged with three counts of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct Involving a Person Younger Than 13. If convicted, he is facing the possibility of up to life behind bars.
It all started in September of 2016. The first allegations came from two female gymnasts who claimed to have been molested by Nassar while seeking treatment for injuries. A lawsuit was filed in California against Nassar and the USA Gymnastics organization. One of those two is identified in the lawsuit only as ‘Jane Doe.’ Her attorneys will not reveal her identity but they have said that she is a medal-winning member of the women’s gymnastics team that competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The other alleged victim was Rachael Denhollander, a gymnast from Louisville, Kentucky. During a media interview, Denhollander said that Nassar sexually assaulted her repeatedly during visits to his MSU office for treatments. The first assault, she says, took place during a treatment for lower back pain called myofascial release. Her mother was in the room at the time, Denhollander says, but Nassar positioned himself so that she couldn’t see what he was doing.
Denhollander’s allegations were only the beginning.
After the lawsuit was filed and the allegations became public, Michigan State University Police received at least fourteen other complaints from women, many who are gymnasts, alleging that Dr. Nassar sexually assaulted them as well. One woman claims that he spoke of oral sex and other inappropriate subjects during a treatment when she was alone with him, and another says that he was visibly aroused during her treatment.
Larry Nassar was arrested and then granted a $1 million bond, which he paid. However, his freedom was short lived. In December 2016, Nassar was arrested again, this time by federal officials on child pornography (kiddie porn) charges. According to court records, Nassar was accused of receiving, or attempting to receive sexually explicit images of children.
This case is an example of a very tough situation, from a defense attorney standpoint. Nassar is facing multiple charges in both state and federal courts. There are numerous alleged victims, many of whom claimed to be children at the time of the assault, and who are willing to testify in court against him. In addition, there is the issue of the child pornography. All is all, despite the fact that Nassar claims that he is innocent of all wrongdoing, he and his attorneys have a long road ahead of them. We will be watching this case closely, and will be bringing you updates as they develop.
Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime in Michigan, you are going to need a highly skilled defense attorney who is familiar with how sex crimes need to be defended. At The Kronzek Firm we have decades of combined experience, and have obtained many excellent case results for our clients. We practice throughout Michigan defending people accused of sex related crimes. Call us immediately at 866 766 5245. Help is available 24/7 for emergencies.