Nassar pleads guilty to more sexual assault charges

CHARLOTTE, MI (WLNS) – In an Eaton County court room Wednesday morning, Larry Nassar admitted that he sexually abused young women and girls during what they thought was medical treatment.

As part of a plea agreement, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct.

That’s one count for each of the three victims in this case.

Nassar’s guilty plea in Eaton County comes just one week after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County.

Nassar’s admission of guilt in both counties means there will not be a trial.

Of the three victims in this case, at least one was under the age of 13 at the time of the abuse. The other two were between the ages of 13 and 15.

“Do you agree that between June 13, 2010 and June 12, 2011 that you sexually penetrated “Victim B” by putting your finger into her vagina?” Nassar’s attorney, Shannon Smith said.

“Yes,” Nassar replied.

“Do you also agree, sir that for each of these victims and all of these counts, your finger was not gloved?” Eaton County Circuit Court Judge Janice Cunningham said.

“Yes,” Nassar responded.

He also admitted to using his power and position as a doctor to abuse his victims.

“Do you further admit that this procedure was for your own purpose?” Judge Cunningham said.

“Yes,” Nassar replied.

These three charges relate to sexual assaults that happened at Twistars Gymnastics Club in Dimondale.

According to court records and testimony, Nassar treated the young women in a back room at the club.

Its owner, John Geddert said he stands by the statement he released earlier this year.

“The safety and overall well-being of our athletes is – and has always been – our No. 1 priority,” The statement says. “We have many policies in place that are designed to protect our athletes, and we have always taken this responsibility seriously.

It goes on to say that Twistars had “zero knowledge” of any of the allegations against Nassar, who Geddert said, was never an employee at Twistars.

“Our hearts go out to the women who have spoken up and, like everyone else, we are sickened to the core by their stories.”

During testimony in May, one woman took the stand and said Geddert allegedly walked in the room while Nassar was performing said medical treatment and made a joke about it.

“I remember, John, my coach walking in and that’s kind of why I remember because I did feel uncomfortable that he was in there.”

“And then what happened?” The Attorney General asked.

“Mostly all I remember is him (Nassar) doing the treatment on me with his fingers in my vagina and massaging my back and with a towel over my butt and John walking in and making a joke that I guess my back really did hurt and then I was uncomfortable because John was in there during that,” The woman replied.

MSU released the following statement Wednesday saying the convictions represent another important step toward justice for the victims.

“As President Simon has said, we recognize the pain sexual violence causes and deeply regret any time someone in our community experiences it. It takes tremendous courage for victims of sexual violence to come forward,” MSU Spokesman Jason Cody said.

Cody also said the university is grateful for all the efforts of the MSU Police Dept. which includes the detectives in the Special Victim’s Unit, as well as the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

6 News spoke with Adam Sturdivant who is a partner with Drew, Cooper & Anding.

Sturdivant is part of the group of attorneys who represent more than 100 women and girls who accuse Nassar of sexual abuse.

“I just spent 30 minutes with a client that’s having a very difficult time digesting what’s happening,” Sturdivant said.

He went on to say that a lot of Nassar’s accusers are having a very difficult time dealing with the situation.

“Some of them are devastated,” he said. “And today is just the next step in that journey.”

Sturdivant continues to call for more action by MSU and USA Gymnastics.

He said there needs to be transparency and accountability.

“Accountability not only for Nassar, but also the institutions that employed him, supported him, gave him unfettered access to these young women for years and years over two decades.”

In exchange for admitting guilt, prosecutors dropped four other charges against Nassar, won’t add any additional charges for other sexual assaults known at this time and won’t charge him on child pornography evidence outside the federal case against him.

Nassar will be sentenced in Eaton and Ingham counties in January. He faces between 25 and 40 years in prison for each case..

The first week of December, which is next week, a federal judge will sentence Nassar on the three child porn charges he pleaded guilty to earlier this year.

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