Published: Tue, February 21, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

MI sports doctor to stand trial in sexual assault case

MI sports doctor to stand trial in sexual assault case

As dozens of women came forward last fall alleging they had been sexually assaulted during routine medical exams by Larry Nassar, the longtime team physician for the USA women's gymnastics team, Olympic gymnastics officials stood accused of allowing alleged abuse to occur.

Jessica Howard, the U.S. national rhythmic gymnastics champion from 1999 through 2001, detailed to CBS an exam session with Nassar at the Karolyi race training headquarters near Houston. All three accused the former team doctor of touching them inappropriately while he disguised it as treatment.

"I started having really bad lower back pain on my right side on my back", Dantzscher 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".

Nassar, 53, has pleaded not guilty to state charges in MI of sexual assault and federal charges of possession of more than 37,000 images of child pornography.

The girls said they didn't say anything because they thought it was treatment meant to help them get better. She also talked about other incidents, which she said happened in Nassar's basement.

USA Gymnastics said this week that it hired an investigator after learning of "athlete concerns" about Nassar in June 2015.

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. He's also looking at federal child pornography charges after investigators said they found a hard drive with almost 37,000 images in a trash can outside Nassar's home. Officials say that more than 60 women have made sexual assault allegations to law enforcement.

In one lawsuit, 18 women accuse USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and a Michigan and gymnastics club of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraudulent misrepresentation, and failure to warn or protect.

The women described what they said Nassar told them was a form of treatment.

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After testimony at a court in Mason, Michigan, Judge Donald Allen ordered Mr Nassar to stand trial on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13 years old.

The woman talked to police a year ago after seeing a newspaper report of similar allegations against Nassar.

Nassar was sacked 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".

She recalls one session with Dr. Nassar.

Howard detailed to CBS an appointment with Nassar at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Centre at Karolyi Ranch in Houston in Texas. She also says when she eventually told her parents, her dad didn't believe her.

Rachael Denhollander, a Kalamazoo gymnast, sought treatment from Nassar at MSU when she was only 15 in 2000.

Nassar was not paid by USA Gymnastics, but his work for the national team was effectively subsidized by Michigan State.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced Friday she will introduce legislation that would require USA Gymnastics, and all amateur athletic governing bodies, to immediately report allegations to authorities in wake of the organization's handling of such allegations. President Lou Anna Simon recently called Nassar's behavior "criminal and repugnant". He served as the team physician for the USA men's and women's Olympic gymnastics team from 1996 to 2015, working four Olympic Games in that time.

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