Larry Nassar expected to plead guilty to child pornography charges

(WLNS Photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) – Larry Nassar is expected to plead guilty to child pornography charges next week in federal court. If accepted, there will be no trial for the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor in August.

24-Hour News 8’s partner station 6 News obtained the plea agreement which shows Nassar is agreeing to plead guilty to three charges including receipt and possession of child pornography and destruction and concealment of records. Nassar signed the plea agreement on June 23.

Each of those charges carries a sentence of up to 20 years. If he’s sentenced consecutively, he could serve up to 60 years.

If the court decides to sentence him concurrently, he would serve no more than 20.

“Between September 18, 2004 and December 1, 2004, the defendant knowingly downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the internet,” the document says. “Between 2003 and 2016, the defendant knowingly possessed thousands of images and videos of child pornography on an AcomData hard drive and other devices while present in the Western District of Michigan.”

According to the document, the images of child pornography possessed included images that involved a minor who “had not attained 12 years of age.”

In September 2016, reports of Nassar’s alleged sexual abuse came to light, after the IndyStar published a story that included statements from two former gymnasts. Police launched an investigation shortly after.

According to the document, during that same time frame on September 19, 2016, Nassar brought his laptop to a computer service store and paid $49 to completely wipe the computer.

“The defendant then turned the wiped laptop over to his employer,” it says.

The next day, he threw away a number of hard drives. Police then recovered the hard drives from his trash, which contained thousands of images of child pornography on two of the hard drives.

“At the time the defendant took the actions described above, the was aware that law enforcement was investigating his activities and he feared this investigation would reveal that he had, among other things, received and possessed child pornography,” the plea agreement says.

Part of the agreement says that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan “agrees not to prosecute the defendant for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, related to the conduct that is alleged to have occurred in the defendant’s swimming pool in the Summer of 2015 involving Child1 and Child2 and interstate/international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places,” it says.

It is believed that the alleged conduct happened during interstate or international travel between 2006 and 2013 with two other children, identified as “Child3” and “Child4.”

Nassar’s attorneys, Matthew Newburg and Shannon Smith declined to comment.

Newburg signed the plea agreement on Friday, July 5th.

Nassar remains in federal custody.

In addition to the federal charges, he’s also facing more than 20 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct in both Ingham and Eaton Counties. He is expected to stand trial in both counties.

To date, 119 women and girls have joined a civil lawsuit against Nassar, Michigan State University, and Twistars Gymnastics.  In addition to the women, there are also five spouses listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

All of the alleged victims say Nassar used his hands inappropriately during what they thought was for medical treatment.

Nassar has maintained his innocence in the state courts and says the treatments he performed on his patience were accepted medical techniques.

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