Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Gymnastics doctor plea deal
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NEW YORK -- Lawrence Nassar, a former doctor for the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team, agreed to a plea deal Tuesday in a child pornography case. Initial reports on Monday suggested the deal would mean the doctor would not face federal prosecution for sexually abusing athletes, but there was a change overnight. 

Nassar walked into federal court in Michigan Tuesday and pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography -- 37,000 images -- and destroying the evidence.

"The FBI and the U.S. Attorneys office told all of our clients, including Jeanette Antolin and others, that they couldn't bring their cases now because of this plea bargain," said attorney John Manly, who represents more than 90 athletes accusing Nassar of sexual abuse.

USA Gymnastics 13:36

Manly was outraged that Nassar might escape criminal prosecution for sexual assaults occurring overseas, where many competitions were held.

"Apparently last evening, the Justice Department had a change of heart, because they went into court this morning and said that they're going to leave the door open to those prosecutions," he said.

Antolin competed with the U.S. national team from 1995 to 2000, and helped UCLA win three national championships. She was just a teenager when she first treated by Nassar.

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Jeanette Antolin CBS News

"I think there was a lot of pressure put on them by the media, they saw people talking about it and then knew that people were angry," she said.

Manly says that no sex abuse victim wants to testify, but most will because they don't want this to happen to another child.

The judge has discretion to sentence Nassar to anywhere from five to 60 years in prison.

  • Jon Lapook
    Jonathan LaPook

    Dr. Jonathan LaPook is the chief medical correspondent for CBS News. Follow him on Twitter at @DrLaPook