Disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of sexually abusing female gymnasts, was stabbed during an altercation Sunday with another incarcerated person at the United States Penitentiary Coleman in Florida.
Nassar was stabbed 10 times, at least twice in the neck, a source with knowledge of the details of the attack told ESPN.
The Associated Press first reported the attack Monday.
Two people familiar with the incident but not authorized to publicly discuss it told the AP that Nassar was in stable condition Monday after being stabbed in the back and chest.
When reached by ESPN, the Federal Bureau of Prisons cited security concerns in not confirming the identity or health condition of any inmate but noted: “We can confirm on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at approximately 2:35 pm, an inmate was assaulted at the United States Penitentiary (USP) Coleman II, in Sumterville, Florida. Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures. Staff requested Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. The inmate was transported by EMS to a local hospital for further treatment and evaluation.”
The Bureau of Prisons also noted that no other staff or inmates were injured and that the FBI has been notified of the incident, while an internal investigation continues.
Nassar, 59, was sentenced in 2017 to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges. In 2018, he was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts, including Olympic medalists. And in February 2018, he received an additional 40 to 125 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to an additional three counts of sexual assault in Eaton County, Michigan.
Originally sent to a prison in Tucson, Arizona, he was attacked shortly after being released into the general population. Authorities transferred Nassar to his current maximum security federal prison about 90 minutes from Tampa.
And now, after this most recent attack, a source tells ESPN that Nassar would need to be moved to another prison.
Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, who was the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault, reacted on Twitter to the latest attack on the former gymnastics doctor, saying, “None of the women I’ve spoken with are rejoicing today. We’re grieving the destruction across so much. We’re grieving the reality that protecting others from him came with the near-certainty we would wake up to this someday.”
“I want him to face the severe prison sentence he received because of the voices of survivors,” said attorney and victim advocate Sarah Klein, the first known woman to be abused by Nassar. “I absolutely do not support violence because it’s morally wrong and death would be an easy out for Nassar.”
Nassar admitted to sexually assaulting athletes when he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Separately, he pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.
During victim impact statements in 2018, several athletes testified that over the course of Nassar’s more than two decades of sexual abuse, they had told adults what was happening, including coaches and athletic trainers, but that it went unreported.
More than 100 women, including Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, collectively sought more than $1 billion from the federal government for the FBI’s failure to stop Nassar when agents became aware of allegations against him in 2015. He was arrested by Michigan State University police in 2016, more than a year later.
Michigan State, which was accused of missing chances over many years to stop Nassar, agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted by him. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee made a $380 million settlement.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.