USA gymnastics doctor may evade charges for sexual assault during the Olympics

Larry Nassar (YouTube)

Larry Nassar, the U.S. gymnastics team doctor who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 100 women, may be able to evade charges pertaining to instances of abuse during the Olympics and other overseas events.

According to The Washington Post, Nassar has agreed to a plea deal for three federal charges related to the possession of child pornography. He has admitted to collecting and possessing thousands of images of child pornography, and to trying to destroy the evidence when he realized that he was under investigation.

Attorneys will recommend a prison sentence of between 22 and 27 years, and they have agreed not to prosecute Nassar for crimes relating to “interstate/international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places,” according to the agreement. The deal also stipulates that Nassar will not be charged for allegedly assaulting two children in his swimming pool in 2015. Prosecutors are scheduled to file the document on Tuesday.

The deal could mean that Nassar, who volunteered as the gymnastics team physician for nearly 30 years and attended four Olympic events, will never faces charge for instances of alleged abuse that occurred during international competitions. It may also allow Nassar to escape prosecution for allegedly assaulting young athletes at a ranch in Texas, where the USA women’s team trained for many years.

Pursuing charges for crimes perpetrated overseas is challenging for U.S. attorneys, but John Manly, a lawyer representing seven former team USA gymnasts who say they were assaulted by Nassar, called the plea deal “cowardly” in a conversation with the Post.

“The message that this sends to our Olympic and elite athletes in this country is that you don’t matter,” he said.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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