Justia Badge
Thumbtack Top Pro - 2016
Best of 2016 Thumbtack
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 under 40
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Tampa 2020
Expertise - Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Tampa 2020
Expertise - Best DUI Lawyers in Tampa 2021

Olympic Doctor Faces Decades in Prison for Abusing Minors

On January 16, 2018, Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar stood in a Michigan courtroom facing multiple charges relating to the sexual abuse of minors. A former sports doctor, Nassar trained young women and girls for years, assaulting them under the guise of medical treatment. Among the victims are several Olympic gymnasts, including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman. In total, almost 100 accusers are expected to testify during the four-day sentencing hearing. Addressing years of physical abuse as well as the emotional and mental aftermath, these women and girls are taking a stand to seek justice.

On the first day of sentencing, some accusers cried, some requested their names not be used, and some faced Nassar with fire. Kyle Stephens was the first to speak, and recounted six years of sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Nassar. From age six to age twelve, Stephens said that Nassar visited her family home and assaulted her multiple times. She stated “Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” She testified that her years of pain were “pathetically veiled sexual abuse”, disguised as treatment.

28 other women and girls testified after Stephens, with more expected in the following days. Donna Markham recounted the harrowing journey of her daughter, Chelsey, through drug abuse and addiction after being assaulted by Dr. Nassar. In 2009, Chelsey committed suicide after a long battle with addiction. Her mother stated, “It all started with [Dr. Nassar]”.

17-year old Jessica Thomashaw described her experience with Dr. Nassar as a black mark on her entire childhood. She stated, “He touched the most innocent places on my body… I forever lost a big piece of my childhood due to his abuse.” Olympic gold medalists Biles, Douglas, Maroney, and Raisman have all spoken out against Dr. Nassar, although they declined to be present at the hearing. Raisman tweeted one day before the hearing that a letter she wrote would be read aloud in lieu of her appearance. She stated, “I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together.”

Another victim, Melissa Imrie, described her 1997 abuse. She was twelve years old, had just broken her tailbone, and was abused by the doctor when she sought treatment. She stated that for years afterward, she suffered from severe depression, difficulty sleeping, and other issues. Speaking on behalf of young athletes everywhere, Imrie wants no one else to suffer like she did.

Nassar has pled guilty to molesting young women and girls with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. These actions took place at his office at Michigan State University, at his home, a local Michigan gymnastics club for girls, and while he was working for USA Gymnastics, an Indianapolis company that trains young Olympians. In November, Nassar admitted to digitally penetrating multiple young girls during a twenty-year period from 1998-2015. Prosecutors are seeking a steep sentence for the doctor, who has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for crimes relating to child pornography. The 54- year old doctor will likely spend most of his life in prison for his crimes, but these women will never get back their childhood.

Client Reviews
Pallegar Law, always put my family first, their team always explained things in full detail, and got the very best results possible. They genuinely care. Our family will forever be grateful. Thank you. Dennis
He took me on and from the word go communicated everything in a timely and professional fashion about how everything is going to be played it; and then delivered word for word. The best part about them apart from their professionalism and efficiency would have to be their honesty which lets you entrust them, which in today's day and age is a rare virtue. Hemant
Excellent communication skills between the staff and client. I always felt I was in the know as to what to expect next. Ajay was up front on possible outcomes of the case and did not promise unrealistic results. Hope to not need them again, but definitely would recommend them. Steve
Ajay made me feel like I was the only case he had, and that he put all of his time making sure I was properly defended. Thanks to Ajay professionalism and attention to detail all my charges were dropped. I one hundred percent recommend Ajay Pallegar as your next defense lawyer. Eric