USA Gymnastics Doc, Accused of Molesting Female Athletes, Pleads Guilty to Child Porn

larry nassarLarry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics physician accused of sexually abusing more than 100 young female gymnasts, has pled guilty to 3 counts of child pornography.  Nassar agreed to the plea agreement after federal officials made it a condition of dropping their charges against him for abusing four girls.

This doesn’t mean Nassar is finished with criminal charges. Nassar still faces numerous charges in state court in Michigan.

According to the deal, Nassar agreed to plead guilty to three federal counts of receiving and possessing child pornography and destroying and concealing evidence when he believed, correctly, that the ongoing investigation by law enforcement would reveal his child-pornography activities.

In return for his guilty plea, federal authorities have agreed not to prosecute Nassar “for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children.” Those dropped charges relate to allegations that Nassar molested two minors in his swimming pool in 2015. Also, he won’t be prosecuted for “interstate/international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.” Those dropped charges relate to “conduct that is alleged to have occurred between 2006 and 2013” involving two other young women.

Not everyone is pleased with this plea deal.  One attorney involved in the case said, “The message the federal government is sending and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is sending [with the plea bargain], is either it didn’t happen or it doesn’t matter. In my view that’s a breach of faith with our athletes.”

But the federal government says the plea bargain only involves the four individuals mentioned in the agreement, adding that each of them supported the plea deal and resolution.

A statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan says, “The plea agreement does not preclude the government from pursuing additional charges against Nassar related to his conduct with other individuals, if appropriate.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge:

With Dr. Nassar’s admissions of guilt on federal charges today, victims and the public can be assured that a day of reckoning is indeed in Dr. Nassar’s future. Today’s guilty plea … ensures that all of Dr. Nassar’s victims, including those who are not victims of the current charges or referenced in the plea agreement, will have an opportunity for vindication through the broad federal sentencing process. My office will be aggressively pursuing a sentence that accounts for all of Dr. Nassar’s conduct.

Nassar could be facing as much as 60 years prison time on the child porn charges.  He will be sentenced on Nov. 27 in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

 

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, California, and other states.

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