Here's what Nassar's potential guilty plea means

Nov 16, 2017
Originally published on November 17, 2017 9:25 am

For the 120-plus women and girls who were allegedly abused by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar, it’s overwhelming to think that he may actually admit to assault as early as next week.

Nassar, who also worked as the doctor for the US Olympic women’s gymnastics team, is scheduled to have a plea hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court next week, where he’s facing more than a dozen charges, including multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child under the age of 13.

On November 29th, he’s got another plea hearing in Eaton County, where he’s facing additional charges. And then on December 7th, a federal judge will decide Nassar’s sentence for child pornography possession. (Nassar pleaded guilty to the child porn possession as part of a federal plea deal; he’s agreed not to fight a sentence between 22-27 years, but the judge can decide to give him up to 60.)

Nothing is finalized at this point. But this sudden plea hearing is a strong indication that Nassar’s defense team has reached a deal with the Michigan Attorney General’s office, which has been prosecuting the state-level charges.

Larissa Boyce says she was repeatedly abused by Nassar in the late 90’s, when she was a teenage gymnast in the MSU youth program. Now, the mom of four lives in Williamston, and news of Nassar’s potential guilty plea is still settling in.

“Because hearing it come out of his mouth, saying that he wronged us girls? That takes it to a whole other level.”

If Nassar does plead guilty, Boyce says she’d be willing to make a statement in court about the impact of his alleged abuse.

“I know a lot of people wouldn't want to face him. But I'm at that point in my healing process where I want to. And I want to take my power back, by facing him and saying, ‘You did this to me.’"

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