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Crime

Former USA Gymnastics Doctor Who Allegedly Sexually Abused Underage Gymnasts Charged with Child Pornography

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Larry Nassar

A former team physician for USA Gymnastics is facing federal child pornography charges less than a month after his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting two underage gymnasts.

PEOPLE confirms Larry Nassar, 53, was detained by FBI agents Friday in Michigan’s Ingham County.

According to an indictment obtained by PEOPLE, Nassar has been charged with two counts of receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography as well as one count of possession of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that Nassar tried downloading six images depicting minors in a sexually-explicit manner. Authorities allege another nine illegal images were allegedly recovered from his personal computer along with a video file showing a 10-year-old girl being molested by an unknown assailant.

Last month, a warrant was issued for the former Michigan State University faculty member, who had spent decades working with members of the U.S. women’s national team, for three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13. If convicted on all three counts, Nassar could be sentenced to life in prison.

Nassar was previously accused of abuse in a September lawsuit filed in California. The suit, which also named the USA Gymnastics organization as a defendant, alleged that Nassar groped and fondled two gymnasts during physical therapy sessions.

Both gymnasts were minors at the time of the alleged unwanted sexual touching, according to the suit.

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Nassar spent 29 years working for USA Gymnastics but was let go last year, records show.

One of the complainants is identified only as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit. The second plaintiff, Rachael Denhollander, has come forward publicly with her allegations.

The suit alleges that when she was 15, Nassar would massage Denhollander’s breasts and violate her with her fingers. She alleges Nassar never wore gloves when examining her at Michigan State while he was a faculty member.

Denhollander alleges she filed a complaint against Nassar several months ago with the university’s police force.

Records indicate that Nassar is being held on $1 million bond by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan. Nassar has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges against him.

Nassar attorney for the civil suit has not responded to PEOPLE’s requests for comment. His criminal attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that USA Gymnastics was aware Nassar had been accused of engaging in inappropriate touching with some of the team’s members but did nothing to address the allegations.

The lawsuit further alleges USA Gymnastics actively covered up claims made against the doctor, but it does not detail specific instances. The school denies those allegations, noting “an administrative investigation” into Nassar’s conduct “revealed no violation of MSU policy.”

Earlier in December, the Indianapolis Star published allegations that came out of a nine-month-long investigation, alleging a pattern of sexual abuse complaints and systemic failures that allowed allegedly abusive coaches and trainers to relocate to other USA Gymnastics-certified gyms.

In a statement released to Indianapolis Star, USA Gymnastics mentioned several initiatives to create a safer environment for gymnasts, including coach background checks and educational materials.

“Nothing is more important to USA Gymnastics, the Board of Directors and CEO Steve Penny than protecting athletes, which requires sustained vigilance by everyone — coaches, athletes, parents, administrators and officials,” the organization said to the publication. “We are saddened when any athlete has been harmed in the course of his or her gymnastics career.”