The United States is seeing hundreds of sexually abused victims coming out in the open and finding the courage to name and shame the rich and powerful who molested and abused them for a number of times. Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and House of Cards star Kevin Spacey were some of the celebrities who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Now more than 125 victims have come out and accused former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual misconduct and sexual assault while attending to them at his home clinic in Lansing and also on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus.

The 54 year old Nassar has admitted to abusing seven of the victims and was stripped of his medical license in April 2017.

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The majority of his victims were gymnasts who came into contact with him due to his association with USA Gymnastics and MSU. Three of the victims who came out publically and accused Nassar of sexually assaulting them include Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. The atmosphere at the courtroom was tensed this week as many of the victims were in attendance and were crying while Nassar was charged.

The former Olympic doctor appeared remorseful for his actions and apologized to his victims stating that it all started out like a small flame but quickly grew into a forest fire that he could no longer control. Nassar said he wanted all his victims and the community which was shaken by the case to heal and that he hoped he would be forgiven for what he had done.

In a statement, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina speaking to the accused said

You used your position of trust in the most vile way to abuse children. I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.

Sentencing for Nassar is set at Jan 12 and he could get anywhere between 25 to 40 years for his crimes. There were also allegations made against MSU and USA Gymnastics for failing to do more to protect the victims from being abused. Allegations have been made against USA Gymnastics for mishandling complaints and not taking the initial complaints seriously and investigating the matter in detail. The two organisations have denied these allegations and stated that they were appalled by Nassar’s crimes.

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Posted on: 23rd November 2017 by: Adrian Sterne