Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor, plead guilty to seven counts of first-degree sexual assault on Wednesday, and admitted that he used his position of power to rape underage girls. Among those who have implicated Nassar include: Fab Five-er Aly Raisman, USA gymnast McKayla Maroney, and gold medalist Gabby Douglas.
Most of the official charges were lodged by gymnasts, however over 100 women have accused him of some form of sexually inappropriate behavior. Douglas, who was previously accused of victim-shaming when she insinuated that Raisman's nude 2015 ESPN cover propagated Nassar's actions, is the most recent athlete to accuse the doctor of sexual assault.
Gabby later apologized for her comments regarding Raisman in a lengthy Instagram post, and revealed that she too was one of Nassar's victims. "I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful," she wrote.
Jeff Raymond, one of Douglas' spokesmen affirmed the comment.
Nassar, who was the team USA gymnastics doctor for over 20 years, wasn't fired until 2015, although complaints had been mounting for decades. Most of the assaults which he is being tried for took place while these young gymnasts were being treated for sports-related issues, sometimes while their parents were present. The governing organization, USA Gymnastics, claims they didn't know of Nassar's repulsive behavior until the year he was fired. He was also a team physician at Michigan State University where he worked directly with both the gymnastics and crew teams.
While listening to the hearing, Raisman tweeted about members of the court calling him doctor:
During the trial, when asked by the judge whether some of his practices were done for his own gratification, he admitted their lack of medical purpose. When speaking to the judge during one of the pre-trial hearings last summer, Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis reminded the court that Nassar had convinced these young girls that the "treatments" they were receiving had some sort of critical medical objective.
After the hearing, Nassar made a brief comment equating his mental illness to a forest fire. "For all those involved, I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control," he said. "I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. ... We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that."
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told the court, "I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your life behind bars thinking of what you did by taking away their childhood."
Nassar is also facing charges in Michigan, where he is expected to plead guilty next week. He's also awaiting sentencing for a federal child pornography charge, which he made a plea for in July. He will be sentenced for his crimes on Jan. 12 and victims will be allowed to give impact statements then.