US gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - An elite MI sports doctor who possessed child pornography and assaulted gymnasts was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in federal prison in one of three criminal cases that ensure he will never be free again.

'He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children, ' US District Judge Janet Neff was quoted by the Journal as saying.

Federal prosecutors had sought the 60-year sentence, which is the maximum under sentencing guidelines.

Investigators found more than 37,000 images of child porn on Nassar's electronic devices in 2016. Neff ruled that Nassar's federal sentence would run consecutive to whatever prison time he receives for the sexual assault cases. On Nov. 22, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, after maintaining for more than a year that his medical treatments had been legitimate. He has pleaded guilty to 10 sexual assault charges and will be sentenced next month.

He could face life in prison when he is sentenced on those charges next month. He served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.

McKayla Maroney called on United States Gymnastics and Michigan State University to champion change
McKayla Maroney called on United States Gymnastics and Michigan State University to champion change

Nassar's possession of child pornography emerged after MSU began investigating him in August 2016 after former gymnast Rachael Denhollander reported to MSU police that he sexually assaulted her in 2000, when she was 15.

The publication of those two accounts unleashed a flood of similar stories.

Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas say they were victims when Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics and accompanied them at workouts or global events. As part of his plea agreement, Nassar admitted that touching the women and girls was not a medical procedure, and he will not be able to use it as a defense moving forward.

This is the first of three criminal cases against Nassar, who also is accused of sexually assaulting multiple women and girls over decades as team doctor for USA Gymnastics and in the Michigan State athletic department.

"I had a dream to go to the Olympics", Maroney wrote in October in alleging she was abused by Nassar, "and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting".

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