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USA Gymnastics Reels from Sex-Abuse Allegations Against Doctor

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After a banner year for the U.S. women’s gymnastics program in which it dominated the Rio Olympics, the sport’s governing body is facing a tumultuous 2017, stemming from sex abuse allegations against a longtime team doctor.

Federal child pornography charges were filed shortly before Christmas against osteopathic physician Larry Nassar, who served as USA Gymnastics team physician for four Olympics between 1996 and 2012, and was a physician for women’s teams and a faculty member at Michigan State University from 1997 to September of 2016, when he was fired.

The charges come on the heels of separate state charges against Nassar, alleging sexual assault of a girl under the age of 13, that were brought by the Michigan Attorney General in November. Meanwhile, state and federal investigators say they are pursuing dozens of other complaints spanning Nassar’s career at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, including allegations that he performed an invasive procedure on patients for his own gratification, claiming that it was a legitimate medical technique.

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The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

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