Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor who used his position of authority to sexually abuse young women for decades, added three more guilty pleas to his list of transgressions in a Michigan courtroom Wednesday morning.
Nassar, 54, accepted a plea deal for three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County. It was similar to the deal he struck a week ago while pleading guilty to seven of the same charges in neighboring Ingham County.
Each of the 10 counts comes with a minimum recommended prison sentence of 25 to 40 years. In exchange for the plea, the Michigan attorney general's office agreed not to prosecute Nassar further on 15 additional charges of sexual abuse.
Sentencing for the seven charges in Ingham County is scheduled to begin Jan. 12. Sentencing for the Eaton County charges has been set for Jan. 31.
Nassar is due in federal court on Dec. 7 for sentencing on federal child pornography charges. He pleaded guilty in July to possessing more than 37,000 images of child pornography in the first of his plea deals.
Wednesday's agreement resolved the last of Nassar's outstanding criminal charges in Eaton County, which stem from his time treating young women at Twistars, a local facility for youth gymnastics. The Ingham County offenses occurred on Michigan State's campus and at Nassar's former home in Holt, Michigan.
Judge Janice Cunningham did not allow Nassar to make a statement after entering his guilty pleas Wednesday morning. Last week, Nassar said in court that he was pleading guilty because he wanted to give the community around him a chance to start healing.
"For all those involved, I'm so horribly sorry," Nassar said last Wednesday in Ingham County. "This is a match that turned into a forest fire, out of control. I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness. I want them to heal. ... I just want healing. It's time."
Several of Nassar's victims were present in the courtroom and viewed his comments as an extension of the behavior that he used to prey on young women.
"It felt like a manipulation tactic that he was saying, 'I'm doing this for you guys. I'm doing this so you can start healing and the community can start healing,'" said Larissa Boyce, who was abused by Nassar while participating in a youth gymnastics program at Michigan State in the late '90s. "It felt like part of his manipulation tactics. I think it's absolutely ridiculous on his part."
Boyce is one of more than 140 women who are suing Nassar, Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and high-ranking employees from both those institutions in civil court. Those women claim Michigan State and USA Gymnastics turned a blind eye to warning signs and calls for help for nearly 20 years and, in the process, allowed Nassar to assault many more young women.
A Michigan State spokesman said last week that the FBI and the university's police department conducted a joint investigation earlier this year to determine whether any other school employees broke laws in Nassar's case, and that "we have no reason to believe that any criminal conduct was found."
Nassar's long list of accusers includes several high-profile Olympic medalists from the U.S. Gymnastics program. Jamie Dantzscher, who won a bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was one of the first women to speak publicly about Nassar's abuse. McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas -- three members of the "Fierce Five" group that won a team gold medal at the 2012 London Games -- have also come forward to accuse Nassar in recent months.
More than 125 women filed police reports with the Michigan State University police department in the past 15 months. All of them will have an opportunity to testify against Nassar during his sentencing hearing in January if they choose to do so.
Assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis said her office contacted all of Nassar's victims in the past several weeks to seek their feedback before agreeing to the terms of Nassar's two plea deals.
"All are in agreement with the plea agreement," Povilaitis said in court last week. "Many are ecstatic and very relieved with this agreement."