13 counts against Nassar bound over to Eaton County Circuit Court
An additional 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct against ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar were bound over to the circuit court in Eaton County, as determined Friday following the preliminary examination hearing in the 56A District Court.
The 13 counts in the 56A District Court in Eaton County came from three alleged victims. Of these 13 charges, seven are criminal sexual conduct of the first degree and six are criminal sexual conduct of the third degree.
Three identified in court documents as “Victim A,” “Victim B” and “Victim C" each testified during the preliminary examination hearing.
The preliminary examination hearing was held to determine whether or not there was enough evidence against Nassar to move forward with the case. 56A District Court Judge Julie Reincke determined there was enough evidence from the three testimonies by binding the counts over.
Nassar is accused of sexually abusing patients and other young women with whom he came into contact. He was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography. He additionally faces criminal sexual assault charges in Ingham County and Eaton County.
The three alleged victims and MSU police Detective Sgt. Andrea Munford were called to testify.
Each alleged victim testified she was digitally penetrated by Nassar at Twistars Gymnastics Club. Each testified Nassar never asked for consent, whether from the gymnast herself or her parents. Each testified no gloves were used during penetration.
"Victim A," also testified in Nassar's preliminary examination hearing in the 55th District Court in Ingham County, which concluded June 23.
In that case, she is also known as "Victim A." She testified in Ingham County May 26.
"Victim A" testified that she was treated by Nassar for a heel injury, a rib injury, some back issues and the wrist.
She said she was treated by Nassar at Twistars Gymnastics Club, a few times at MSU and once at Nassar's home.
She testified Nassar first penetrated her in 2010 at Twistars when she was nine years old.
She also testified the penetration continued in 2012 at Nassar's MSU office. She was 11 at the time.
"Victim A" testified her teammates would talk about these treatments among themselves, but that the general consensus among the gymnasts was that the actions were "just what Nassar does. He does it to everyone."
She decided to come forward after reading the Indianapolis Star article that featured Rachael Denhollander, one of the first alleged victims to speak out against Nassar.
"When I would think about it, I would get really disgusted," she told the court. "There was definitely something wrong with what he did to me."
The second witness of the day was "Victim B." Now 22 years old, she alleges Nassar digitally penetrated her when she was 14.
"Victim B" was affiliated with Twistars Gymnastics Club since she was 6 years old. She started seeing Nassar at age 10 for minor pains, but began regularly seeing him after she broke her back at 14.
She testified Nassar volunteered his Monday nights to treat patients at Twistars, a sentiment that was backed up by the two other alleged victims.
"Victim B" testified Nassar digitally penetrated her nearly every Monday night for a year.
"He was just talking to me like nothing was going on," she testified.
Like "Victim A," she said girls would discuss the treatments in the locker room. Reading the Indianapolis Star article that featured Denhollander eventually led "Victim B" to go to the police, but she waited before reporting.
"Victim B" said there's been an emotional impact and said she now has anxiety attacks.
"Victim C" testified she was a gymnast through Twistars Gymnastics Club between the ages of 13 and 17. She said she would drive an hour and a half both ways to the facility five times a week.
She also testified about receiving treatment from Nassar at Twistars, his MSU office and his home for back troubles that warranted bone scans, an MRI and X-rays.
She alleges Nassar digitally penetrated her for the first time when she was 15 years old at Twistars. She said penetration happened "countless" times.
"The first time, he said, 'We don't tell parents about this because they wouldn't understand,'" she testified.
During her testimony, "Victim C" said she was "conflicted" and "embarrassed." She said she felt she was betraying Nassar.
Like alleged victims "A" and "B," "Victim C" said she would vaguely mention Nassar's treatments to other gymnasts. She said they knew it was happening.
She said she didn't tell her parents "because no one did."
"Victim C" testified that it wasn't until two years ago that she began to understand what had happened.
"I think a part of it was that I — I don’t know, I’m passionate about gender issues and had been reading about it a lot in school — It was something I was piecing together more and more," she testified.
Like alleged victims "A" and "B," the Indianapolis Star article pushed her to report what she alleges happened to her.
"Victim C" said heightened anxiety is part of the emotional impact this has had on her.
Detective Sgt. Andrea Munford
Munford, who has been a detective sergeant with MSU police for three years, was the last to testify.
As part of her testimony, the court watched video evidence from Aug. 30, 2016 of Munford questioning Nassar after a complaint was filed to MSU police from Denhollander.
In the video, Nassar discussed the importance and lack of feedback from patients and said his goal was not to hurt patients.
"It hurts me to think that — that— by talking to my patients … they’re afraid to tell me the truth. It’s like, just give me the feedback so we can readjust," Nassar said in the video.
In the video, Nassar denied performing inter-vaginal procedures on gymnasts. Nassar also said he would use gloves if he were to perform an internal procedure.
"I don't get sexual pleasure out of working with my patients," he said in the video. "I'm not trying to get my jollies out of this."
Judge Reincke ruled to bind all 13 charges over and said the three alleged victims were "very credible victim witnesses."
"It's not easy for them to testify. They clearly developed some loyalty to him," Reincke said.
Nassar is currently being held without bond. It will be up to Nassar and his attorneys to determine whether or not he will stand trial against these charges.