Texas prosecutors charge Larry Nassar with sexual assault at Karolyi Ranch
Texas prosecutors have filed additional charges in the ongoing Larry Nassar scandal, alleging that the disgraced sports doctor and a former gymnastics trainer molested young athletes at the famed Karolyi Ranch outside of Houston.
Nassar, who is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to numerous charges in Michigan, now faces six counts of sexual assault of a child in Walker County, Texas.
A grand jury there also indicted former trainer Debbie Van Horn on one count of sexual assault.
The husband-and-wife coaches who operated the national training center were not included in the indictment. The facility has since been closed.
“Bela and Martha Karolyi were interviewed at length,” Asst. Dist. Atty. Stephanie Stroud said at a news conference Friday. “There is no corroborated evidence of any criminal conduct by Bela or Martha Karolyi.”
Hundreds of young athletes have come forward with accusations that Nassar — who worked in various capacities for USA Gymnastics, Michigan State and the U.S. Olympic team — molested them under the guise of providing medical treatment.
Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault and possession of child pornography in Michigan.
The scandal has prompted a wave of lawsuits, with Michigan State recently announcing that it will pay $500 million to settle current and future claims. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee are still facing litigation.
Texas authorities said the case was brought to their attention by Michigan officials in late 2013. Two initial allegations at the Karolyi Ranch were included in the Michigan proceedings.
“As the investigation continued, more women were identified as possible victims in Walker County and, ultimately, a total of eight victims made reports,” Stroud said, explaining the six additional counts in her state.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had asked the Texas Rangers to investigate whether others besides Nasser were involved in wrongdoing. While neither the Karolyis nor any USA Gymnastics executives were charged, Stroud had strong words for people who oversaw training at the ranch.
“It is our belief that there was a total failure by USAG to protect the athletes that were part of their program and to take appropriate action once they were made aware of Dr. Nassar’s actions,” she said.
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