Gymnast says sports doctor caused pain while molesting her

A former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, faces sexual abuse charges. (Provided Photo/Ingham Co. Sheriff's Office)

MASON, Mich. (AP) — A gymnast testified Friday that a Michigan sports doctor accused of sexual assaulting dozens of women and girls asked her father to leave the room before he molested her during a 2012 appointment for a heel injury.

The girl, who was 11 at the time, said she didn’t object when Dr. Larry Nassar penetrated her with his fingers because she was embarrassed and thought it might be a legitimate procedure.

“I remember lots of pain,” the 16-year-old, identified as victim A, told a judge.

(Nassar is a former doctor with Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics.)

Judge Donald Allen Jr. must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send Nassar to trial on sexual assault charges involving seven women or girls. The judge has so far heard testimony from six of them over two days. The hearing will resume on June 23.

Separately, dozens of others are also accusing Nassar of assaulting them and are suing him in federal court.

He was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians and other elite athletes. Nassar is accused of molesting the women and girls with his hands but denies wrongdoing.

Victim A said her father accompanied her to Nassar’s campus office for treatment of a sore heel. She said the doctor told her father that he could leave the room while he massaged her foot. He agreed.

She said she came forward after reading other gymnasts’ accounts last year in an Indianapolis Star story about Nassar. The subsequent months have been tough.

“There have been lots of nights where I just cried and cried,” she said.

Earlier Friday, another 16-year-old girl who testified on May 12 was cross-examined by Nassar’s lawyers. She acknowledged that some of his treatments helped her back, but she said he never indicated that he would be touching her private areas with ungloved hands.

Nassar is facing four separate criminal cases, including one alleging he had child pornography.

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