Larry Nassar hit with sexual assault charges in Texas

Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor, was hit with new sexual assault charges in Texas on Friday.

Nassar faces six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child. The former doctor worked with trainer Debra Van Horn at Karolyi Ranch, a gymnastics training facility in Texas, The Associated Press reported.

Van Horn was formally charged on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

The charges against Van Horn and Nassar stem from six accusers, Walker County prosecutor Stephanie Stroud said while announcing the charges at a news conference. Walker County District Attorney David Weeks would only elaborate to say that Van Horn was accused of “acting as a party” with Nassar.

Nassar was sentenced in late January to 40 to 175 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people in Michigan for more than a decade. The sentencing came after a week-long court hearing, during which more than 150 accusers shared emotional statements detailing the abuse.

Van Horn reportedly worked alongside Nassar at the Texas facility.

Van Horn reportedly worked alongside Nassar at the Texas facility. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)


Nassar, a former Michigan State trainer, had previously been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

One accuser, Mattie Larson, testified during a sentencing hearing in January that Van Horn “would be in the room many of the times Larry abused me. If a trainer, a professional trainer, doesn't say anything about it, I should trust her. At least that's what I thought.”

The allegations against Van Horn mark her as the first person other than Nassar to be charged in direct connection with his alleged assaults.

Authorities opened an investigation in January at the now-closed Karolyi Ranch, which was run by a couple bearing the same name and was used by USA Gymnastics. In May, multiple former gymnasts pushed authorities to investigate whether the couple could have prevented alleged instances of abuse at the facility, where two athletes claim the former doctor assaulted them.

The Karolyis, Bela and Martha, who have denied any knowledge of mistreatment, were not charged, however, Stroud said, adding that the pair were interviewed and were working with law enforcement.


But, she added, “It's our belief that there was a total failure by USAG (USA Gymnastics) to protect athletes that were part of their program and to take appropriate action once they were made aware of Dr. Nassar's actions.”

Authorities attempted to find out whether anyone at the facility had knowledge of Nassar’s alleged assaults and failed to report them, Stroud said. However, the two-year statute of limitations on failure-to-report charges had expired.

“That in no way means there was no wrongdoing at the ranch or within the ranks at USAG,” she added.

USA Gymnastics told AP that the group was working with state investigators and would do “everything possible to prevent this from happening again.”

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.