Nassar associate arrested in Houston on sexual abuse charges

Sept. 7 (UPI) — Authorities arrested former USA Gymnastics athletic trainer Debra Van Horn Thursday on sexual assault charges linked to her time working with former Michigan State University sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar at the Karolyi ranch in Texas.

Homeland Security officials detained Van Horn at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as she disembarked from a plane arriving from China. She was booked into Walker County jail.

A Texas grand jury indicted Van Horn and Nassar in June for alleged crimes involving six female victims over a period of nearly 20 years.

Van Horn, who worked for USA Gymnastics for three decades, faces one charge of sexual abuse of a child. Officials offered no details on the allegations, but Walker County District Attorney David Weeks described Van Horn “as a party” to the alleged crimes.

Nassar, who is serving what amounts to a life sentence in Michigan for sexually abusing more than 250 people, was charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a child. If convicted, he faces a 20-year sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.

Famed gymnastics coaches Bela Karolyi and Martha Karolyi escaped charges after prosecutors said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

“Ms. Van Horn is returning to the United States to answer these false accusations and clear her impeccable name and reputation,” Van Horn’s attorney, Emily DeToto, said in a statement in the Houston Chronicle. “Ms. Van Horn is charged as a ‘party, under the law of parties.’ That’s just a fancy way of saying, ‘guilt by association.'”




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