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Doctor Convicted of Sexually Abusing USA Gymnasts Is Stabbed in Prison Cell

One of the more notorious prisoners at a federal lockup in Florida was stabbed by a fellow prisoner on July 9, 2023. Larry Nassar, 59, survived and was recovering from the assault by 49-year-old Shane McMillan. The incident was reportedly provoked by a comment Nassar made about the Wimbledon Women’s Tennis championship game they were watching at the Federal Correctional Institution in Coleman, Florida.

“I wish there was girls playing,” the disgraced physician allegedly said.

That was apparently enough to provoke the in-cell attack with a homemade weapon by McMillan. He is serving what was originally a 20-year term for a 2002 meth-trafficking conviction in Wyoming, though the sentence has since been more than doubled with additional convictions for punching out a BOP guard in Louisiana in 2006 and attempting to murder a fellow prisoner at the “supermax” lockup in Colorado in 2011.

Nassar, the former doctor for U.S. Women’s Gymnastics, pleaded guilty in 2017 to sexually abusing young athletes under his care. He also admitted possessing child pornography. He came to the prison in 2018 from the U.S. Penitentiary in Tucson, where he had been assaulted within hours of his arrival. He is serving a 40-year sentence with the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in a unit housing other sex offenders.

The assault happened outside the view of surveillance cameras, but Joe Rojas, President of Local 506 of the American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing BOP guards, credited his members with preventing the situation from turning deadly.

“He is lucky to be alive, and the only reason he is alive, in my opinion, is because of the staff members who were there,” Rojas said.

BOP insisted that staffing was adequate at the time, though it also admitted that about one-third of guard slots are vacant at the prison.

“I’m not happy that this happened,” said Ashley Erickson, who was one of Nassar’s victims, adding that “I don’t think violence should be part of his sentence.”

“When we sent him to prison, my goal wasn’t for him to just get beat up and stabbed and go through such a violence,” Erickson continued. “I just wanted for him to pay for his time for all the stuff that he did to us.” 

Sources: Daily Beast, NBC News, WILX