Prosecutors announced in a press conference in Huntsville, Texas, on Friday afternoon that Larry Nassar was indicted on six counts of second-degree child sexual abuse, and former USA Gymnastics trainer Debbie Van Horn was indicted on one count of child sexual assault. District Attorney David Weeks added that the investigation is not yet closed.
Nassar was once the team doctor for USA Gymnastics and the athletics department at Michigan State University, and is accused of sexually abusing more than 260 young athletes, telling them it was a medical treatment. The Huffington Post reports that he’s already serving three concurrent sentences of as much as 175 years in prison for sexual assault and child pornography. Those sentences are for charges he faced earlier this year.
During Nassar’s January hearing, national gymnastics champion Mattie Larson said that Debbie Van Horn was present during many of the times Nassar abused her.
Five of the abused athletes asked authorities to consider whether coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, who own the Karolyi Ranch, could have prevented Nassar’s crimes. Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Stroud clarified Friday that the investigation had found no wrongdoing on their part.
“We do not believe that there is any corroborated evidence with regard to Bela and Martha Karolyi that they did anything wrong. There are other individuals who may have fallen within criminal behavior, but they are outside the statute of limitations and those would be failure to report cases.”
Fox 59 reports that Stroud said the Karolyis had been cooperative throughout the investigation. She added that there had been a “total failure” by USA Gymnastics to protect its child athletes.
Larry Nassar indicted on six counts of sexual assault at Karolyi Ranch https://t.co/4urqXIXBoD— The Guardian (@guardian) June 29, 2018
The Karolyis are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, according to WXYZ Detroit. They’re asking for over $1 million in damages resulting from the sale of their training center that was canceled amid the accusations against Larry Nassar.
John Manly, the attorney for over 300 of Nassar’s victims, said that there are at least five adults who witnessed Nassar’s crimes and stayed silent.
“The message to people who were in charge of protecting children is that in Texas, if you fail to report molesters nothing will happen to you,” he added. Manly also said that he realizes that, given the sentences that Larry Nassar is already serving, charging him with more crimes doesn’t make much sense.
“Charging Larry Nassar with more crimes makes about as much sense as digging up Lee Harvey Oswald and charging him with JFK’s murder,” he said. When asked why the latest charges were brought then, he said, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”