doctor sued in sex-assault cases
Eighteen women and girls have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a Michigan doctor sexually assaulted them and that USA Gymnastics and other organizations that employed him failed to address their concerns and prevent further abuse, some of it dating to the late 1990s.
In the civil suit filed against Dr. Lawrence Nassar on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in western Michigan, the plaintiffs are seeking relief for injuries related to sexual assault, nonconsensual touching, abuse and molestation. They say the abuse occurred while they were participating in gymnastics, swimming, figure skating, track and field, field hockey, basketball and soccer.
Most of the plaintiffs were minors when the abuse occurred, says the suit, which alleges that Nassar "sexually assaulted, abused and molested" the athletes, including by "digital vaginal and anal penetration."
The lawsuit is the latest legal action against Nassar. In November, he was charged in Ingham County, Mich., with first-degree sexual conduct with a person under 13, and in December he was indicted in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., on child pornography charges.
Matthew R. Newburg, Nassar's lawyer in those criminal cases, said by email to the New York Times on Wednesday that his client has pleaded not guilty in those cases. "We are still receiving discovery and continue to review the reports as we receive them," he said.
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