Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to child porn charges

A former doctor accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls during his long career treating college and Olympic gymnasts has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Dr. Larry Nassar, 53, the former doctor for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, pleaded guilty to three charges during a hearing Tuesday in federal court in western Michigan. Two of the charges carry maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison. The sentencing guideline in the plea is 22 to 27 years in prison, but the judge isn't bound to follow the guideline.

In his plea deal, Nassar admitted that he tried to get rid of hard drives with at least 37,000 videos and images last fall. Investigators found them in his trash can.

Nassar, who also worked at Michigan State University, is awaiting separate trials on charges of molesting nine girls, all but one of whom were gymnasts seeking treatment for injuries.

Separately, Nassar is being sued by more than 100 women or girls with similar allegations.

An independent review of USA Gymnastics released last month said the organization needs a "complete cultural change" to better protect athletes from sexual abuse.

Steve Penny, the longtime president of the governing body, resigned in March under intensifying pressure for the way the organization handled charges of sexual abuse.

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