Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team physician, is now serving an extended sentence in federal prison for criminal sexual conduct, child pornography, and sexual abuse charges. As part of his plea agreement, Lawrence Gerard Nassar will face a lifetime behind bars, locked away in a high-security federal prison. Here we delve into the details of Nassar’s conviction, his state and federal sentence, the federal prison where he is currently housed, ongoing proceedings, and the broader implications of his case.
Table of contents
- A Brief Overview of the Case and Nassar’s Conviction
- Larry Nassar’s Victims: What Did Larry Nassar Do?
- State and Federal Sentencing and Implications
- Larry Nassar Prison Information
- Larry Nassar’s Life in Federal Prison for Child Pornography
- Federal Prison Sex Offender Management Programs (SOMP)
- Michigan State Prison Sex Offender Program
- Nassar’s Risk of Prison Violence
- Will Larry Nassar Have a Target on His Back in Prison?
- Ongoing Proceedings and Appeals
- Inside Larry Nassar’s Prison Commissary Account
- Broader Implications: USA Gymnastics and #MeToo Movement
A Brief Overview of the Case and Nassar’s Conviction
Larry Nassar, the highly respected former USA Gymnastics doctor, worked with female athletes for over two decades. In 2015, allegations of sexual abuse crimes against the then-prominent doctor came to light. Both state investigators and FBI officials with the U.S. Justice Department’s FBI Indianapolis Field Office investigated Nassar. He was charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct and child pornography.
Nassar accepted a plea deal in Ingham County Circuit Court and Eaton County Circuit Court to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The Ingham County case gained significant attention by filing seven counts of sexually abusing minors.
Over 150 women have come forward, sharing their experiences and delivering victim impact statements during Nassar’s sentencing hearings. Nassar pleaded guilty to the federal case, as well.
These allegations of Nassar abusing children resulted in him pleading guilty. Nassar’s conduct has led certain FBI employees and other senior officials to call for a life sentence as him being the worst child predator.
Larry Nassar’s Victims: What Did Larry Nassar Do?
The USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal shocked the world when it was revealed that gymnasts in the United States, primarily young women, were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the USA Gymnastics team. Under the guise of legitimate medical treatment and sports medicine, Nassar sexually assaulted many young girls.
Over the years, more than 160 women came forward to share their stories of sexual assaults by Doctor Larry Nassar, who abused his position of trust to prey on young girls.
One of the earliest survivors who accused Nassar was Sara Teristi, who Nassar abused while her coach, John Geddert, created a culture of fear that made it difficult for her to speak out. Another critically important moment was when more than 98 women shared their stories in court at Nassar’s sentencing, inspiring others to come forward.
Nassar’s victims have included many well-known gymnasts, including:
- Aly Raisman
- Simone Biles
- McKayla Maroney
- Gabby Douglas
- Maggie Nichols
- Jordyn Wieber
- Jamie Dantzscher
- Rachael Denhollander
- Sarah Klein
The survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse compelled organizations and institutions to take responsibility for their failures, resulting in a $380 million settlement for the victims. The sexual abuse survivors show that no matter how powerful their abusers may be, their voices are heard and their stories told. But, of course, monetary penalties can never undo the harm Nassar’s abuse caused.
State and Federal Sentencing and Implications
On January 24, 2018, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison for criminal sexual conduct charges. Before this, he faced a 60-year federal prison sentence for child pornography and tampering with evidence charges. Given his age, now 59, it is doubtful that he will live long enough to transition from federal to state prison, despite his sentences running concurrently.
As a result of his plea agreement, he will start serving his time in federal custody for child pornography charges before his state sentences, where he will most likely spend the rest of his life. While Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison, it’s unlikely that he’ll live long enough to transition from federal to state prison, even though his sentences run concurrently. In this light, the Larry Nassar sentence is more akin to a public condemnation than an actual reality.
Larry Nassar Prison Information
Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida has high-security federal prison called United States Penitentiary Coleman 2, where male inmates are housed. This complex is the only place in Florida that has federal high-security prisons.
Nate A. Lindell’s writings describe USP Coleman 2 as a “special-needs” prison where certain groups of prisoners, including informants, former cops, ex-gang members, check-ins, LGBT prisoners, and child molesters, are supposedly safe and allowed to walk freely in the yard.
According to news outlets, a guard was charged with lying to federal investigators regarding a sexual assault against an inmate. Moreover, two inmates have been killed in the prison.
Larry Nassar’s Life in Federal Prison for Child Pornography
As a result of his plea agreement, he will start serving his time in federal prison, where he will most likely spend the rest of his life. While Nassar, 54, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison, it’s unlikely that he’ll live long enough to transition from federal to state prison, even though his sentences are running concurrently.
Due to Nassar’s lengthy sentence, he’ll most likely be housed at one of the Bureau’s high-security level prisons, also known as United States Penitentiaries or USPs. His sentence of over 30 years activates a Bureau-issued Public Safety Factor (PSF) of “Sentence Length,” which will restrict Nassar to a high-security federal prison unless the PSF is waived. This is unlikely due to his very lengthy state and federal sentences.
Due to Nassar’s visibility, the Bureau will likely designate him to USP Tucson. At this prison, he should be able to walk the yard with approximately 40 percent of the population incarcerated for current or past sexual offenses. There, he will have access to the same services available to other inmates in the general population.
This will include limited educational classes such as Adult Continuing Education, library services, sex offender treatment, recreational opportunities such as individual and group sports and physical fitness, and access to some communication systems to contact family, like monitored telephone, email, and letters. He will also be allowed contact visits with family and friends, including his three children.
Federal Prison Sex Offender Management Programs (SOMP)
Most inmates — even those convicted of notorious sexual offenses — are not housed in protective custody for long. It is common for those convicted of heinous and notorious sexual crimes who are not designated to USP Tucson to be bounced around from penitentiary to penitentiary. Each time they are either seriously assaulted in the general population or the hole. Otherwise, such inmates remain in protective custody unscathed but completely isolated for months or years. This occurs until the Bureau places them at a facility where they can survive.
Of all high-security federal prisons, only USP Tucson in Arizona is a Sex Offender Management Program institution. This is probably the only high-security Federal Bureau of Prisons facility where Nassar could relatively safely remain in the general population. If he were placed at any other prison, he would likely be assaulted or not allowed out of solitary confinement, where the Bureau keeps those in protective custody.
Currently, the following prison locations are designated SOMP institutions by the Justice Department:
- USP Tucson, Arizona (high security)
- USP Marion, Illinois (medium security)
- FCI Elkton, Ohio (medium security)
- FCI Englewood, Colorado (medium security)
- FCI Marianna, Florida (medium security)
- FCI Petersburg Medium, Virginia (medium security)
- FCI Seagoville, Texas (medium security)
- FMC Devens, Massachusetts (multiple security levels)
- FMC Carswell, Texas (multiple security levels)
Michigan State Prison Sex Offender Program
While it is unlikely that Nassar will live long enough to serve his Michigan criminal sentence, the Michigan Department of Corrections also offers sexual therapy.
Michigan State Prison offers a specialized treatment program for sex offenders aimed at reducing sexual recidivism and promoting public safety. This intense program is available to prisoners in selected facilities, such as West Shoreland.
The treatment program aims to provide effective treatment plans to convicts and reduce sexual recidivism. Key components of the program include cognitive-behavioral therapy, relapse prevention, and a focus on accountability.
It is crucial to recognize the importance of these programs in helping these offenders break free from their past and ultimately build a positive future. With support and resources, these individuals can overcome their offenses and reintegrate into society as law-abiding citizens.
Nassar’s Risk of Prison Violence
Prison violence is a problem for any inmate, especially those convicted of sexual offenses. Informants and sexual offenders are at the bottom of the barrel in prison culture. What is often found is that the level of violence matches the security level. In regular penitentiaries, violence is common and brutal.
The convict culture is authentic and permeates every aspect of life in prison. Most prisoners must join prison gangs or risk constant attack. But at minimum-security federal prison camps, violence is almost unheard of, and most people are just biding their time until they go home. Medium and low-security federal prisons tend to be a mix.
Nassar is likely to be subject to violence if housed in a regular Federal Bureau of Prisons facility. Still, if he is placed in a SOMP institution, he will generally be safe outside of nasty words or other forms of ostracizing from non-sex offender inmates. Due to the Nassar allegations and visible statements made at his sentencing hearing, other inmates will likely be motivated to bring harm to him.
For example, he will most likely be excluded from certain sports and only allowed to sit at specific tables in the chow hall. It will probably be uncomfortable for a period, but not necessarily dangerous.
Will Larry Nassar Have a Target on His Back in Prison?
While Nassar will have a target on his back due to the notoriety of his offenses and the extensive media coverage, he should be relatively safe at USP Tucson or, if his Public Safety Factor is waived and he is housed at a medium security federal prison, a SOMP medium.
At USP Tucson, many others convicted of sexual offenses have been sentenced to even more time than Nassar and have committed far worse crimes than he has — as surprising as that might sound. As such, he will likely fall into a routine that will eventually become his new life. While valid, following a threat to his life, he was immediately transferred to a new prison: USP Coleman II.
He’ll wake up, clean his cell, go to chow, work in some form of menial prison employment, and generally find ways to pass his time. In prison, who he was will die, and something new will emerge. This occurs with virtually every long-term inmate.
When he sheds the skin of the person he has been, will he find ways to fix what ails him, or will he spiral down into something even deeper and darker? This is a deeply personal question that many prisoners must answer. Even in prison, there is further to fall, but there is also a ladder to start the climb.
Ongoing Proceedings and Appeals
While all criminal cases against Nassar have been concluded, there may still be ongoing civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the survivors of his abuse. These lawsuits seek damages from responsible parties, including USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and the United States Olympic Committee. Their outcomes may not affect Nassar’s prison sentence directly but could provide justice and closure for his victims.
The Inspector General’s Report concluded that “Nassar had engaged in sexual assaults of over 100 victims[.]” The report also found law enforcement made numerous and fundamental errors when investigating this case. For example, the report found FBI officials had made false statements in reports.
Inside Larry Nassar’s Prison Commissary Account
While behind bars, Nassar has accumulated thousands of dollars in his inmate trust account, which covers commissary items, phone, and email expenses.
A recent court filing shows that Nassar has only made minimum payments to his victims, despite owing nearly $58,000 to five victims and $5,000 per the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Nassar’s actions have prompted a judge to order money to be seized from his prison account to pay for restitution.
According to court documents, Nassar has spent more than $10,000 in commissary, phone, and email expenses using his prison commissary account while only paying $300 in criminal monetary penalties.
These court filings have highlighted the prison system’s need for accountability and transparency. The public outrage over Nassar’s actions and the handling of his finances has prompted further investigation into the Bureau of Prisons’ policies and procedures.
Larry Nassar’s prison commissary account has become a contentious issue of interest. As the government seeks to enforce the court order to seize his inmate trust account, it remains to be seen how prison authorities will maintain the balance between inmate welfare and justice for their victims.
John Manly, an attorney for Nassar’s victims, explained, “This notion that anybody in the Justice Department would let this happen is just revolting.”
Broader Implications: USA Gymnastics and #MeToo Movement
The Larry Nassar case has significantly impacted the USA Gymnastics organization and the broader #MeToo movement. Since the scandal came to light, numerous high-profile leaders within USA Gymnastics have resigned or been removed from their positions.
The organization has also implemented new safety measures to protect athletes from abuse, including introducing the SafeSport initiative to prevent and address sexual misconduct within sports. These changes are designed to protect others from Nassar’s abuse and others who may engage in the same conduct.
The Nassar case has fueled the momentum of the #MeToo movement, drawing attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse in various industries. The movement has inspired more abuse victims to come forward and has encouraged changes in how organizations handle allegations and take the necessary actions to promote a safer environment.
The Larry Nassar sentencing and case have had far-reaching effects on the American sports community and society at large. It is a stark reminder of the need for greater vigilance, action, and utmost seriousness in addressing sexual abuse and harassment across all industries and settings. It is a cautionary tale to help the American psyche not lose sight of the need to protect victims from those in power.
Larry Nassar is a former sports medicine physician and convicted serial child molester in the United States. He was named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by athletes who said he engaged in sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment. In 2018, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on sexual assault charges.
Larry Nassar was a former team doctor who worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. He sexually abused young girls and women under the guise of medical treatment, using his position of power to penetrate and assault them.
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography and tampering with evidence. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting gymnasts and other athletes. Unfortunately, hundreds of young women and girls were affected by his heinous crimes.
Larry Nassar is serving his federal sentence in the United States Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida. His expected release date from federal custody is January 30, 2068.
Yes, Larry Nassar is currently serving a sentence in federal prison for sexual assault charges. He is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida.
Larry Nassar is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Coleman II, a high-security federal prison in central Florida.
Yes, there is no indication that Larry Nassar is deceased. However, he is currently serving a prison sentence for his numerous sexual assault convictions.
Larry Nassar sexually assaulted former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. Maroney was one of many athletes who came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar, stating that he began molesting her when she was 13 years old and continued to do so until she retired from gymnastics. Nassar initially pleaded not guilty to these charges but later admitted guilt and was sentenced to prison.
A former sports medicine physician, Larry Nassar, was convicted of criminal sexual conduct for sexually assaulting gymnasts and other athletes under the guise of medical treatment. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on sexual assault charges and lost his last appeal in the sexual assault scandal. He was named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by athletes who said Nassar engaged in sexual abuse.
Published Feb 8, 2018 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jul 16, 2023 at 4:10 pm