Washington, D.C. At a federal jail in Florida that is experiencing a staffing shortage, disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar was stabbed numerous times by another prisoner. Nassar was found guilty of sexually abusing Olympic and collegiate female gymnasts.
Nassar was in a stable condition on Monday, according to two individuals familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press. The assault took place on Sunday at the United States Penitentiary Coleman.
Nassar, according to one of the witnesses, had been stabbed in the chest and back. Due to a lack of personnel, one of the persons said that the two cops manning the unit where Nassar was being detained were had to work extra shifts.
The individuals talked to the AP on the condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss specifics of the attack or the ongoing investigation.
Due to his convictions in state and federal courts, Nassar is currently serving decades in jail. He admits to sexually abusing athletes while employed by USA Gymnastics in Indianapolis and Michigan State University, both of which train Olympians. In a separate instance, Nassar admitted to having pictures of child sexual assault.
Larry Nassar's final appeal in the sexual assault case is denied
The problem of staffing shortages for the federal Bureau of Prisons was brought to attention in 2019 when convicted billionaire Jeffrey Epstein committed himself while being held in a federal prison in New York.
Nearly one-third of federal correctional officer posts worldwide, according to an Associated Press investigation in 2021, were empty, requiring institutions to hire chefs, instructors, nurses, and other employees to watch over inmates. Other jails' ability to respond to emergencies, such as suicides, has been impeded by a lack of personnel.
With more than 30,000 workers, 158,000 inmates, and an annual budget of roughly $8 billion, the Bureau of Prisons is the largest institution in the Justice Department. Other AP investigations have shown sexual abuse and criminal activity there, among other issues.
Colette Peters, the bureau's new boss, was appointed last year to overhaul the troubled organization. She has committed to introduce more openness and overhaul antiquated recruiting procedures. But issues still exist, as seen by Ted Kaczynski, or the "Unabomber," recently taking his own life in a North Carolina federal prison.
One of the persons with knowledge of the situation claimed that on Sunday, one of the cops in Nassar's unit was working his third consecutive shift, which amounted to a 16-hour day. The subject stated that the other cop was on their second consecutive shift.
The first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, Rachael Denhollander, tweeted on Monday that none of the women she spoke with was celebrating Nassar's attack. We lament the fact that defending others against him came with the almost certainty that we would discover this someday.
How was Larry Nassar let to exploit athletes for such a long time?
Sarah Klein, a different victim, claimed that being stabbed makes her and other victims relive their pain and abuse at the hands of Nassar and the institutions, such as law enforcement, that supported and enabled him to prey on children.
"I want him to serve out the harsh jail term he was given as a result of the voices of survivors. Violence is ethically reprehensible, and I categorically oppose it because it would give Nassar an easy way out, Klein said in an email statement.
In 2018, Nassar, who sexually assaulted athletes while pretending to cure them, was sentenced after more than 150 women and girls gave testimony. Over the course of the more than two decades of sexual assault, several of them claimed to have notified authorities, such as coaches and athletic trainers, what was happening but that nothing was done about it.
In all, more than 100 women, including Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, are suing the federal government for more than $1 billion because the FBI failed to stop Nassar despite learning of the claims against him in 2015. More than a year later, in 2016, Michigan State University police were able to apprehend him.
In July 2021, the inspector general of the Justice Department stated that the FBI's investigation into the claims of sexual assault against Nassar contained "fundamental" mistakes and that the issue was not handled with the "utmost seriousness." Before the FBI got involved, other players came out to report being assaulted.
After conducting its own internal investigation, USA Gymnastics' then-president Stephen Penny informed the FBI field office in Indianapolis of the claims. However, the agency did not launch a formal probe for several months.
The FBI admitted to behavior that was "inexcusable and a discredit" to the country's top law enforcement organization.
More than 300 women and girls who were molested by Nassar received $500 million from Michigan State, which was accused of letting opportunities to stop him pass over a long period of time. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics reached a $380 million settlement.
The Michigan Supreme Court dismissed Nassar's final appeal in June 2022. Based on retaliatory comments made by Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who labeled Nassar a "monster" who would "wither" in jail like the evil witch in "The Wizard of Oz," Nassar's attorneys said he was unfairly punished in 2018 and needed a fresh hearing.
Nassar's appeal was deemed to be a "close question" by the state Supreme Court, which also expressed "concerns" over the judge's behavior. However, the court also observed that despite her controversial remarks, Aquilina adhered to the sentence arrangement negotiated by attorneys in the case.
Reporting from New York was Sisak.