The US gym doctor UU He pleads guilty to assault and faces decades of imprisonment: the two-way: NPR


Former Michigan and United States State University gymnast, Larry Nbadar, is seen in court on June 23 in Mason, Michigan, while facing trial on multiple charges of first-degree criminal badual behavior. Nbadar pleaded guilty and faces decades of prison.

Jeff Kowalsky / AFP / Getty Images

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Jeff Kowalsky / AFP / Getty Images

Former gymnastics doctor at Michigan State University and the United States, Larry Nbadar, is seen in court on June 23 in Mason, Michigan, while facing trial on multiple counts of first-degree criminal badual behavior. Nbadar pleaded guilty and faces decades of prison.

Jeff Kowalsky / AFP / Getty Images

Dr. Larry Nbadar, the former Michigan State University sports doctor and physician of the US gymnastics team accused of molesting or badaulting more than 100 girls and women, pleaded guilty to seven counts of first degree criminal badual conduct and faces decades of prison.

The state criminal case involved seven of his accusers. There are other pending criminal charges, and many more girls and women have sued Nbadar in civil cases.

He filed his guilty plea on Wednesday in a packed courtroom in Michigan, with several of his accusers at the hearing. Some of them cried, reports The Associated Press.

As part of this motive, Nbadar will be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. Under the terms of your plea agreement, the judge could go higher and set a minimum sentence of 40 years.

  Aly Raisman says she was abused by USA Gymnastics Doctor

Nbadar pleaded guilty to federal charges of possession of child badgraphy, and awaits sentencing on those charges. As part of that plea agreement, prosecutors dropped federal charges related to allegations of badual abuse.

But the state's case continued, which led to the guilty plea on Wednesday. His sentence is set for January 12.

The Associated Press has more information about the case:

"The girls have testified that Nbadar molested them with their hands, sometimes when a father was present in the room, while seeking help for gymnastic injuries."

] "He convinced these girls that this was a kind of legitimate treatment," Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis told a judge last summer. & # 39; Why would they interrogate him? Why would they question this god of gymnastics?

"Separately, Nbadar is charged with similar crimes in Eaton County, the location of an elite gym club."

  After the abuse scandal, USA Gymnastics says it will take measures to protect Athletes

In 2016, Indianapolis Star spent months investigating the pattern of badual abuse in USA Gymnastics, the largest gymnastics organization from the USA UU And the national governing body of sport. IndyStar reporters discovered that the organization ignored complaints about predatory trainers and did not alert authorities to allegations of badual abuse.

In the course of that wider investigation, they spoke with two gymnasts who accused Nbadar: a powerful and prominent figure in the world of gymnastics – of badual abuse.

The publication of these two accounts sparked an avalanche of similar stories. Olympic medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and now Gabby Douglas are among the scores of girls and women who have come forward to say they were also abused.

Maroney described his experience vividly, as we reported in October:

"I had a dream of going to the Olympics & # 39 ;, writes in a statement posted on Twitter, & # 39; and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary and disgusting "

" Dr. Nbadar told me he was receiving "a medically necessary treatment he had been performing on patients for over 30 years. years, "he writes." It started when I was 13 years old, in one of my first National Team training camps in Texas, and it did not end until I left the sport. "She says the abuse continued in London during the 2012 games

"Maroney says that the most terrifying night of his life happened when he was 15, when the team traveled to Tokyo. She says that Nbadar gave her a sleeping pill to help her sleep on the flight, and when she woke up she was alone with him in her hotel room, "receiving a" treatment "." She does not describe her specific actions.

"I thought I was going to die that night," she writes. "

Aly Raisman, speaking with CBS 60 Minutes earlier this month, says she thinks of Nbadar and in the culture that tolerates its predatory behavior every time young girls come and ask for an autograph.

"Every time I look at them, every time I see them smile, I just think: I just want to create a change so that never, never have to go through this, "he said.

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