Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60 years on child porn charges

Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60 years on child porn charges

A federal judge's 60-year prison sentence for former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar was a step forward, but Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics must also be held accountable for failing to act after sexual assault allegations against Nassar first surfaced.

"The government said he had 37,000 images of child pornography, including images of children as young as infants", MLive reports.

Neff ruled that Nassar's federal sentence would run consecutive to whatever prison time he receives for the sexual assault cases. Neff said that Nassar "should never again have access to children".

U.S. District Judge Janet Ness gave Nassar, a former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor, a sentence that was the toughest possible for three charges to which he admitted guilt in July.

Shannon Smith, an attorney for Nassar, said he was "devastated" by the sentence and that he would appeal the sentence.

More than 140 women and girls have accused him of sexual misconduct, including several American gymnasts on the "Fierce Five" team that won gold at the 2012 Olympics.

John Manly, an attorney representing more than 100 victims, said he was proud of McKayla Maroney and other victims for overcoming their fear and facing their perpetrator in court. He's also pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in both Ingham and Eaton counties and could be sentenced to up to life in prison in those cases when he's sentenced next month.

While expressing gratitude to the federal prosecutors and the judge for the sentence handed down, Denhollander said, "Today the justice feels very incomplete".

"In 2016, The Indianapolis Star spent months digging into the pattern of sexual abuse at USA Gymnastics, the largest US gymnastics organization and the national governing body for the sport".

In an interview broadcast on CBS' "60 Minutes", Raisman told CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook that she initially thought Nassar was providing legitimate medical treatment.

Nassar initially pleaded not guilty to possessing the child pornography.

Nassar's attorneys had asked the federal judge for leniency, arguing Nassar had helped fellow inmates and taken Bible classes since his arrest almost a year ago, the State Journal said.

"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up?" Later reports by the State Journal identified similar shortcomings at MSU: Between 1997 and 2015, at least seven women or girls say they raised concerns about Nassar's actions to coaches, trainers, police or university officials.

"We don't comment unless charges are pending in a matter", he said.

USA Gymnastics instituted dozens of changes in the wake of the scandal that the group says will help it prevent and respond to any future cases of abuse.

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