Life has been very, very unpleasant for Larry Nassar in the last year or so. In addition to what felt like an endless stream of horrifying allegations, the loss of his prestigious positions at MSU and USA gymnastics, and then a highly publicized trial where hundreds of his victims addressed him in open court, it’s been a very rough ride. In fact, the name “Nassar” has become synonymous, on social media, with what is now referred to as ‘rape culture.’
We all thought it was over…
However, after sitting through all 156 of the statements made by his victims in court, and being sentenced to 175 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, Nassar probably assumed it was over. We all did. But new indictments have just been returned against him in Walker County, Texas – home of the infamous Karolyi ranch.
What are the allegations against Nassar in Texas?
According to Walker County prosecutor Stephanie Stroud, a grand jury in Texas has indicted him on six counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. In addition, a former trainer at the Karolyi ranch, Debbie Van Horn, is also facing charges. She has been indicted on a single count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.
Who is Debbie Van Horn, and why does she matter in this case?
Van Horn is a former athletic trainer who worked for decades with both Nassar and the national gymnastic team, training at the Karolyi ranch. However, her name never came up before Nassar’s trial here in Michigan, when Mattie Larson, a 2010 world team member, mentioned the Van Horn’s name during her victim impact statement. According to her testimony, Van Horn was in the room on a number of occasions while Nassar abused her. And she wasn’t the only one who made that allegation – ‘victim 178,’ who wished to stay anonymous, made the same allegation.
So what’s going to happen now?
Similar to Nassar’s situation in the wake of the allegations against him, Van Horn has been fired from USA gymnastics. Mark McCreary, the chief administrative officer at USA Gymnastics, wrote in an email to USA Today: “Effective, January 22, 2018, Debbie Van Horn is no longer employed with USA Gymnastics.” However, if the Nassar trial is any indicator, losing her job is only the beginning of Van Horn’s journey.
Have you or a loved one been accused of sexually abusing a child in Michigan?
Child Sexual Abuse is often charged not as child abuse, but rather as a sex crime. However, both child abuse and sexual assault are very serious, and require the skills of a defense attorney with many years of experience. So if you or a loved one have been accused of sexually assaulting a child, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled child abuse defense attorneys have decades of experience, and can help you fight these charges, no matter how serious or scary they seem.