OKEMOS, MI (WLNS) – We continue to follow the latest developments on the sexual assault allegations against former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
In the last several months, we’ve seen Nassar get charged on the state and federal levels. Almost weekly, the list of allegations against him gets longer and so does an on-going federal lawsuit where nearly 80 plaintiffs are suing the former doctor and Michigan State University.
6 News has spoken exclusively with a couple of those plaintiffs when we interviewed them last month. We didn’t reveal their name or identity, but now those “Jane Doe’s” want you to know who they are.
6 News is reintroducing you to a man named Tony Guerrero. He’s the father of a 15 year-old gymnast and alleged victim of Doctor Larry Nassar.
He said Nassar touched his daughter inappropriately while he was in the room just months after the former MSU doctor was given new guidelines that told him to limit skin-to-skin contact as a result of an investigation.
Guerrero said he felt the need to speak out again, without being anonymous, to send a message. He said he’s doing it for his daughter.
“He was the doctor to go to,” he said. “He was friendly and we all had confidence in him.”
6 News first brought you Guerrero’s story back in February as he sat behind a white curtain showing nothing but a silhouette describing the details of multiple doctor’s appointments where he said his daughter was sexually abused by Larry Nassar.
“When he would adjust her spine he would move her underwear to the side,” he said.
He spoke anonymously that day to protect the identity of his daughter. He said his daughter, is the same reason he’s making himself known today.
“She’s a roller coaster. Some days she’s sad, some days she’s mad, but there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about it,” he said.
Guerrero’s daughter has been involved in gymnastics since she was six years-old. She was 11 the first time she saw Larry Nassar for medical treatment. It was at Twistars Gymnastics Club.
A year later, she started visiting the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic where she says Nassar inappropriately touched her for what she thought was for her back pain.
“We didn’t know,” Tony said. “What parent in their right mind would keep taking their child to somebody to be molested? It wouldn’t happen. This guy was the best at what he did. He would put himself in positions to where we couldn’t see.”
It wasn’t until the news broke that investigators found tens of thousands of images of child pornography on Nassar’s property that Tony’s daughter told him what happened. He said he’s carried a huge weight on his shoulders ever since.
“It’s hard not to blame yourself,” he said. “But it’s not my fault and I know that.”
Guerrero’s daughter is among the nearly 80 plaintiffs listed as “Jane Doe’s” on a federal lawsuit against Nassar that continues to grow. A lawsuit that he says could have been avoided.
“I didn’t know that he was being, ya know had all these restrictions and stuff in his file that he had to follow and that he had been accused of this,” he said. “Had I known, my daughter wouldn’t be one of the survivors.”
While some people say they told MSU staffers about Nassar’s behavior as far back as the 90’s, an MSU spokesperson says the university didn’t get a complaint until 2014. It investigated that complaint and as a result, set up guidelines for Nassar to follow.
MSU officials say Nassar was fired after they say he admitted not always following those guidelines.
Guerrero said Nassar not only used his charisma but also his credentials to prey on little girls like his daughter.
“I mean that’s my baby…that’s my little girl.. how dare you,” he said.
Tony said while the last several months have been tough, he admires his daughter’s strength to push through.
“I’m proud of her, proud of what she’s still accomplished,” he said. “She’s still a gymnast, she’s set back a little bit but she just went to states for High School Gymnastics.”
From one parent to another, Tony hoping to send a message to anyone who may one day find themselves in a situation like this.
“It’s not your fault.. It’s not..you’re supposed to be able to trust your doctor like you trust a pastor or a priest or your parent..they are the ones that are supposed to help you get better and protect you and make you feel better,” he said. “Not manipulate you.”
Attorney Mick Grewal with Church Wyble, a division of Grewal Law, represents more than a dozen of women and girls who are alleging Nassar sexually abused them.Guerrero’s daughter is one of them.
Grewal said this in an email statement this afternoon:
“Having worked on these files for over 3 months, our investigation has revealed the complete lack of integrity and honesty from MSU. They clearly failed to report any of the sexual assaults to the authorities, to CPS or even to parents of the minors. They failed to monitor Nassar once MSU implemented their so called restrictions in 2014. MSU created an atmosphere where more and more girls and woman were sexually assaulted by Nassar right under their nose. If the MSU coaches, staff and physicians reported Nassar back in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2014 and all the other years when survivors complained, 100’s of girls could have been saved from this ordeal, this trauma.”
On top of several civil lawsuits, Nassar faces more than 20 charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level and child pornography charges at the federal level.
Police say more than 90 people have filed complaints against Nassar since September.
Nassar has maintained his innocence in both state and federal court and says the treatments he performed on his patients were accepted medical techniques.