LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Attorneys for a former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are pushing to have his trial moved out of the Lansing area.
Attorneys representing Larry Nassar filed a change-of-venue request because of what they called “inflammatory and sustained media coverage” that they say has made it difficult for Nassar to get a fair trial in the area, The Lansing State Journal reported.
The media attention grew more intense last week when 21-year-old 2012 Olympic Gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney wrote on Twitter that Nassar started assaulting her when she was 13.
Nassar — who spent nearly 30 years working as an osteopath for USA Gymnastics’ elite athletes — has pleaded not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in Michigan. He has pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case but has not been sentenced. He remains jailed without bond.
Separately, Nassar is also facing more than 100 civil lawsuits claiming he abused female athletes during his tenure at both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State. Many are in mediation and four cases in California are tied up in the courts.
Many of the women have the same allegations: During the course of Nassar’s treatments, the doctor inserted “his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand” into the victim’s vagina, sometimes while their parents were in the room. When one woman reported Nassar’s disturbing “treatments” to MSU training staff, she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world-renowned doctor and that his “inter‐vaginal adjustments” were legitimate medical treatments. The alleged incidents took place at his Michigan State clinic, his home in Holt and at a Lansing-area gymnastics club. Some allegations go back to 2000.
Nassar was fired from Michigan State University in September 2016, and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, cut ties in 2015.
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