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Dr. Larry Nassar, 54, appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 22. Photo: Paul Sancya / AP

Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the U.S. gymnastics team and Michigan State University accused of molesting more than 130 patients, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the abuse of seven girls, three of them while they were under 13 years old, per NBC. He is facing at least 25 years in prison.

The big picture: Sexual predators are being unmasked in every industry.

  • According to the New York Times, Nassar told the court on Wednesday he prays "every day for forgiveness." Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told him she agrees "now is a time of healing, but it may take [the victims] a lifetime of healing while you spend your life behind bars thinking of what you did by taking away their childhood."
  • Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas have all come forward saying they were abused by Nassar. He is facing similar charges in Eaton County, Michigan, and awaiting sentencing for child pornography charges, per the Times.

Nassar's victims have spoken out:

  • Lindsey Lemke, a MSU gymnast, spoke out on Wednesday: "We trusted him and he took advantage of that...it was blown off by so many people."
  • Raisman tweeted: Court regerring to Larry as DOCTOR Nassar. I AM DISGUSTED. I am very disappointed. He does NOT deserve that. Larry is disgusting. Larry is a MONSTER not a doctor."
  • Maroney said Nassar began abusing her as early as 13 years old: "Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment...It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated.'"
  • Douglas said they were "conditioned to stay silent" about abuse from Nassar.

Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

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