Michigan State sports doctor Larry Nassar ordered to stand trial

Posted February 21, 2017

Three former US gymnasts, including Olympian Jamie Dantzscher, have spoken out about being sexually assaulted by Dr. Larry Nassar.

Howard was a three-time national champion in rhythmic gymnastics, winning the title in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

"He would put his fingers inside of me and move my leg around", she said. "He would tell me I was going to feel a pop and that that would put my hips back and help my back pain".

Larry Nassar, 53, the longtime team physician for US gymnastics, was arrested in November on charges of sexually assaulting a child in MI and indicted a month later on federal charges of possession of child pornography. "But in my mind, I was like, 'If this helps, I'll do anything, '" she said.

In each of these cases, Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him and said the treatments he used are accepted medical techniques. And- he had asked me not to wear any underwear.

Dantzscher said she saw Nassar for treatment regularly from her early teens until the Olympics, when she was 18.

USA Gymnastics won't comment on specific allegations, but it says it's "appalling that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in this manner".

In the lawsuits, several victims said they had complained to others, including former MSU head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, about Nassar but nothing was done.

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In lawsuits against the doctor, at least two women said Klages downplayed their complaints about him when they were part of a gymnastics youth group at MSU in the late 1990s.

The governing body for gymnastics in the United States said Sunday that results from an independent review of it bylaws and policies is expected by the end of June after its longtime doctor Larry Nassar was charged with criminal sexual conduct and possessing child pornography.

John Manly, a California-based lawyer who represents more than three dozen gymnasts alleging abuse, including the one who kicked off the USA Gymnastics inquiry, said the six-week lag between USA Gymnastics hearing the initial complaint and then turning to law enforcement is indefensible and inconsistent with the organization's statement last September that it had alerted authorities immediately after learning of athletes' concerns. "You don't complain about treatment". They said Nassar touched their vaginas during the medical procedures and during massages when they were young girls at that training facility. A MI judge on Friday ordered Nassar to stand trial on criminal sexual conduct charges.

Before a year ago, Nassar was a revered figure in American gymnastics.

Nassar was sacked from MSU in September. His current attorneys admitted that he "has used a legitimate medical procedure that includes manipulation that, under MI law, would be considered vaginal penetration".

Nassar was not paid by USA Gymnastics, but his work for the national team was effectively subsidized by Michigan State. The three gymnasts, which also included Jeanette Antolin, who competed with the national team from 1995 to 2000, said the Karolyis' compound was an intense, high-pressure environment. "He was someone that we would talk to when we were getting treatment, if we had a hard day", she said. President Lou Anna Simon recently called Nassar's behavior "criminal and repugnant". He had also been a physician for Team USA Gymnastics for almost 30 years, most recently in 2015.

Sexual assault allegations against Nassar were first made public by the Indianapolis Star in a report in September that detailed allegations against Nassar by two former gymnasts.

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