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Most were too young to recognize that the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor was abusing them in the guise of medical treatment. His victims — more than 150 — were young gymnasts and dancers entrusted to his care.
They weren’t the only ones exploited.
Thousands of other doctors across the country have been accused of sexually violating patients, the AJC found last year in a national investigation. Some physicians violated scores of patients before they were stopped. The worst had hundreds of victims. You can read about some of the other offenders here: http://doctors.ajc.com/many_alleged_victims/
Often, patients were victimized while doctors pretended to do legitimate medical exams. Among the cases the AJC found were ones where a doctor performed dozens of unnecessary Pap smears a year on a patient; where children were abused when their parents were in the exam room, and where even women trained as rape crisis counselors were assaulted.
Confused or embarrassed, many patients, like Nassar’s victims, stayed silent for years. When victims did come forward, the AJC found that medical boards often gave offenders a second chance and did not report the violation to police.
Changes in laws in every state also can help protect patients from dangerous doctors. Read about changes needed in your state here: http://doctors.ajc.com/states/
Nassar is expected to be sentenced Wednesday on 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct. He already has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.