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Former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar pleads guilty to child porn charges in controversial plea deal

By in Press Enterprise on July 12, 2017

By Scott Reid

Former USA Gymnastics women’s Olympic and national team physician Larry Nassar pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three federal child pornography related charges as part of a plea bargain that has found Justice Department officials under mounting criticism by many of Nassar’s alleged victims.

Former Olympic and World Championship gymnasts who allege they were sexually abused by Nassar as teenagers continued to condemn a decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office to agree as part of the deal not to prosecute Nassar, 53, on sexual exploitation of children charges.

But while Nassar pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan to receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography and destruction of evidence, federal officials said U.S. District Judge Janet Neff could order Nassar to serve his sentences consecutively later this year. Neff, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement, said during Nassar’s Nov. 27 sentencing hearing .”may consider the full scope of Nassar’s misconduct when determining the appropriate sentence, including uncharged misconduct.”

“Specifically, federal law provides that ‘[n]o limitation shall be placed on the information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court of the United States may receive and consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence,’” the statement continued. “In addition, the federal sentencing guidelines provide for a substantially increased sentence when a defendant has engaged in a pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of minors. Judge Neff will also have the authority to order that Nassar serve the rest of his life on court supervision after he completes his prison term.”

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