Larry Nassar is a former American osteopathic physician who used to be a sought-after physician at Michigan State University; before his conviction in the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal in 2017. During his two decades tenure as a gymnast trainer, he had become a household name in the gymnastic community. After pleading guilty to 10 of more than 250 sexual assault accusations by various women and girls back in the early ’90s, he is now serving a federal penalty of 60 years in prison and the state penalty of 40 to 125 years in prison.
Larry Nassar was born as Lawrence Gerard Nassar on Friday, August 16, 1963 (age 56 years; as in 2019), in Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States. In 1978, at the age of 15, Larry began to train student-athletes of women’s gymnastics team at North Farmington High School in Michigan; on the advice of his older brother, Mike who was also a gymnast trainer. Once, on his Facebook page, he shared a post about his entry in the gymnastics community, in the post, he wrote –
My high school years set a strong foundation for the rest of my life.” The Detroit News
Larry studied kinesiology at the University of Michigan and earned an undergraduate degree in 1985. MLive While studying at the University of Michigan, Nassar also worked for the university’s football and track and field teams. USA Today
Nassar also pursued a master’s degree program at Wayne State University during 1985-89, but he left the program after he was selected for medical school at Michigan State University. At Wayne University, he was also a graduate assistant athletic trainer. Larry Nassar received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993. USA TODAY
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Hazel Brown
Family & Ethnicity
Larry Nassar belongs to a family with Lebanese descent. Wikipedia
Parents & Siblings
Larry Nassar’s father, Fred Nassar died in 2000, and his mother, Mary Nassar died in 2019.
Larry has three elder brothers – Fred (Val), Dr. Michael (Mike), and Lin (John) Armitage; and one elder sister – Dr. Nancy (Edward) Wolf.
His two elder brothers, Fred (Val) and Dr. Michael (Mike) are no more.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Larry Nassar got married to Stephanie Lynn Anderson on October 19, 1996. Their marriage took place at St. John’s Catholic Church in East Lansing. The couple went on to have three children – two daughters (Katelyn and Caroline) and one son (Ryan). When Nassar was convicted in the sexual assault case in 2017, his wife, Stephanie Lynn Anderson, filed for divorce, which she was granted in July 2017; she was also given the full custody of their three children.
Larry Nassar began his career in 1988 by working with John Geddert (a former American gymnastics coach) at the latter’s gymnastics training club called “Gedderts’ Twistars USA Gymnastics Club” in Dimondale, Michigan. USA TODAY In 1996, Larry finished his family practice residency at St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing (now a part of Sparrow Hospital in Michigan). After being appointed as national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics, Nassar joined the US gymnastics teams at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In 1997, Larry Nassar earned a primary care sports medicine fellowship and joined Holt High School as a team physician. Thereafter, he became a team physician and assistant professor at MSU (Michigan State University); earning $100,000 annually. The Detroit News He went on to join the US gymnastics teams at three more Olympics – Sydney Olympics (2000), Beijing Olympics (2008), and the 2012 London Olympics. Nassar’s tenure as USA Gymnastics Medical Coordinator ended in 2014; however, he carried on serving as a team doctor for women’s artistic gymnastics. Michigan State University (MSU) relieved him of clinical and patient duties on August 30, 2016, and on September 20, 2016, Larry Nassar was fired by MSU as an associate professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Sexual Assault Allegations
Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual assault by more than 250 girls and women; mostly gymnasts. Although the accusations against Nassar of sexual assaults dating back to the early ’90s, it wasn’t until 2015 that the matter was taken into cognizance by the US Gymnastics.
The foremost sexual abuse against Nassar was reported by an American gymnast, Jamie Dantzscher in 1994. Jamie Dantzscher is an Olympic medalist who accused Nassar of continuously abusing her for six years. ESPN
Reportedly, Nassar had started preying on women gymnasts as early as 1992; even before completing his medical school and becoming a licensed doctor. In one such earliest complaint against Nassar, a woman gymnast in her lawsuit against Nassar said that when she was 12 or 14 back in 1992, Nassar had invited her to his Michigan apartment to assist him in some research work, and in lieu, he offered her a full-body massage; during which he penetrated her vaginally. ESPN In another lawsuit against Nassar filed by a parent in 2017, they mentioned that they had tried to raise an alarm against Nassar’s behavior to Twistars owner John Geddert back in 1997, but Geddert ignored their complaint and didn’t bother to inform the police. MLive In 1999, Jane X Doe, an MSU track and cross country runner, had also raised an alarm to a staff member of the athletic program and athletic trainers against Nassar’s behavior and told the staff that on the name of treating an injured hamstring, Nassar was penetrating her vagina; however, the staff members told her –
Nassar is an Olympic doctor and he knows what he is doing.” MLive
Larissa Boyce, a resident of Lansing, in her complaint against Nassar, said that he sexually assaulted her from September 1997 to 2000; in her lawsuit, Larissa Boyce said,
He used his fingers to go into intimate areas, saying it was going to relieve my back pain. But I trusted him. I mean, he was a doctor and treated the Olympic gymnasts, and so I thought, ‘OK, if this is going to make my back feel better so I can continue doing gymnastics, then OK.’” The Detroit News
In 1999 and again in 2000, Tiffany Thomas Lopez, an MSU softball player, while sharing her trauma, said that when she approached three MSU athletic trainers to complain about Nassar’s behavior, they told her that she was fortunate to be treated by a world-renowned doctor. MLive
Another gymnast named Rachael Denhollander in her complaint against Nassar said that at the age of 15 when she tried to seek Nassar’s help for lower back pain in 2000, he sexually abused her during treatments. MLive During her testimony, Rachael Denhollander said,
He has everything he needs to be an incredible leader. He has the personality. He has the skill. He has the knowledge. And he’s using that to prey on people… What a waste.”
Rachael Denhollander’s accusation against Nassar was followed by many survivors, including Olympic champions and popular gymnasts, like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Jordyn Wieber. The Guardian
One of the earliest media coverages of Larry Nassar’s behavior was by The Indianapolis Star, a popular morning daily newspaper in the United States, which published a lengthy investigating report into USA Gymnastics and its handling of sexual abuse complaints on August 4, 2016. In September 2016, the charges framed by Rachael Denhollander and another gymnast against Nassar was also reported by The Indianapolis Star. While filing charges against Nassar, Rachael Denhollander said,
Over the last 16 years, I’ve realized I have a responsibility, and the question about whether or not to speak publicly cannot center around what’s easy for me.” IndyStar
In February 2017, three former American gymnasts: Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard, and Jamie Dantzscher gave interviews to “60 Minutes,” an American news magazine and television program broadcast on the CBS television network; explaining their trauma at the hands of Larry Nassar.
Aly Raisman, the six-time Olympic medalist, also gave an interview to “60 Minutes” in November 2017 in which she told that after competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she had spoken to the FBI investigators about Nassar’s behavior.
McKayla Maroney, the gold medal-winning gymnast used the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter to campaign against Nassar and said that Nassar had started sexually abusing her when she was 13 and didn’t stop until 2016 when she took retirement from the sport. Time
Larry Nassar was first arrested by the FBI in December 2016 on child pornography charges. According to the FBI officials, more than 37,000 images of child pornography were recovered from Nassar’s computer disks and drives. They also found a video of Nassar in which he was seen molesting minor girls in a pool; subsequently, he was charged with sexually assaulting a minor by the State of Michigan. Time
Trials & Convictions
When the Ingham County charged Nassar with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct on November 22, 2016, he pleaded not guilty and was set free on a $1 million bond. USA TODAY
On July 11, 2017, Larry pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography; following which he was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on supervised release; the judgment was pronounced by Judge Janet T. Neff on December 7, 2017. United States Department of Justice During the state trials, Larry pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017, and an additional three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County on November 29, 2017. NBC NEWS
The Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Larry Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison on January 24, 2018. While pronouncing the judgment the Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina described Nassar as “precise, calculative, manipulative, devious, and despicable” and said,
I just signed your death warrant.”
The Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced Larry Nassar to 40 to 125 years in prison on February 5, 2018; culminating Larry Nassar’s lawsuits. USA TODAY
- In his locality, Nassar was considered a gentleman, and the locals remember him for his helping hand. Judy Rosebush is one such person who lived in the neighborhood of Larry Nassar in Holt, Michigan for 17 years, and she can’t say enough good things about Nassar. She says that once when she suffered an increased heartbeat, Nassar didn’t waste a second to help her out. She says,
He came running across the street in his bare feet with a stethoscope and told me what to do and where to go. I really cannot say enough good about Larry because he is just a wonderful man. He will do anything in the world for anybody. We all love Larry. We really, really love Larry.” The Detroit News
- There are at least six research papers to Larry Nasser’s name on the treatment of gymnastics injuries. Science Direct
- One of his daughters is autistic, which inspired him to start a foundation to introduce children with special needs to gymnastics. The Detroit News
- After Nassar was convicted in 2017, many gymnastics officials who had worked with Nassar had to tender their resignations, including the entire 18-member board of USA Gymnastics, MSU President Lou Anna Simon, and MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis. CNN
- When MSU paid $500 million to 332 alleged victims to settle the lawsuit filed by them against Larry Nassar, it was touted as the largest amount of money in history paid by a university to settle a sexual abuse case. The Washington Post
- On July 18, 2018, Sara Klein, an American gymnast, identified herself as Nassar’s first victim. Klein revealed the fact at the 2018 ESPY Awards ceremony, where she received the Arthur Ashe Award on the survivor’s behalf along with the gymnast Aly Raisman and softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez. Free Malaysia Today
- The “investigation into Michigan State’s handling of Larry Nassar” was suspended by the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on December 24, 2019. NBC NEWS
- By the time Larry Nassar’s federal custody will be over, i.e., on March 23, 2069, he will be 105 years old; even if he will still be alive, he will be shifted to a Michigan state prison for his pending state sentences.
- On April 3, 2019, a documentary film titled “At the Heart of Gold” was premiered on HBO. The film was made by the American documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, and it was based on Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse scandal.
References [ + ]
|1, 7, 12, 23, 25.||↑||The Detroit News|
|2, 10, 11, 13, 14.||↑||MLive|
|4, 6, 19, 22.||↑||USA TODAY|
|20.||↑||United States Department of Justice|
|27.||↑||The Washington Post|
|28.||↑||Free Malaysia Today|