A University of Michigan gymnast has become the first male victim to file a lawsuit claiming sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, according to multiple reports Thursday. Jacob Moore, a freshman at the school and a former member of the U.S. men's junior national team, alleged that when he was a 16-year-old seeking treatment for a shoulder injury, Nassar performed acupuncture on his genitalia and exposed them to a girl who was also a minor.
As first reported by International Gymnast, Moore, a Michigan native, claimed that the abuse occurred in the basement of Nassar's home in April 2016. That was after the disgraced former physician had parted ways with USA Gymnastics following a nearly 30-year association, but before he was fired by Michigan State University, where he spent two decades.
Moore's court filing, excerpts of which were published by Deadspin, stated that he "believes the conduct of Dr. Nassar was sexual assault, battery, abuse, molestation and harassment performed by Defendant Nassar for Defendant Nassar's sexual pleasure and gratification."
The 18-year-old athlete joined his sister Kamerin MacKay Moore as a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit originally filed by Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who in 2016 was the first person to publicly accuse Nassar of abuse. In addition to Nassar, Denhollander has named as defendants USA Gymnastics, Michigan State, the university's board of trustees and John Geddert, a former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who ran a club for the sport in Michigan.
Denhollander's accusations against Nassar opened the floodgates for dozens, then hundreds more girls and women to tell their own stories. In two sentencing hearings held earlier this year in Michigan courts, scores of victims, as well as some parents, took turns facing Nassar - who had already received 60 years in federal prison for child pornography and would get up to 175 more years in state prison - and testifying to the pain caused by his abuses.
MacKay Moore, a former member of the U.S. women's junior national team, was among those who testified, and she detailed how, starting at age 10, she was befriended by Nassar and groomed for his "special treatment." Saying that Nassar "molested a little girl who had just lost her father," Moore told him, "You had the audacity to ask me if you could video yourself doing the treatment on me."
MacKay Moore then testified that once her younger brother realized "what a monster" Nassar was, she "watched him frantically search the Internet, trying to find some proof that the chi in his shoulder is somehow connected to his genitals." She offered an account of what happened in Nassar's basement that was given more detail in Jacob Moore's filing.
Moore said that he had gone to Nassar's basement in the past for treatment, and was accompanied by his mother to the then-doctor's home on the date in question, although she presumably remained upstairs. "When the minor female gymnast came into the basement," the filing stated, "Dr. Nassar then pulled down Plaintiff Jacob Moore's pants, exposing his genitalia, explaining to Jacob Moore that he was doing this to treat his shoulder pain through acupuncture in his pubic area and in and around his genitalia."
"Additionally, Defendant Nassar discussed the fact that he was exposing Plaintiff Jacob Moore to the minor gymnast," the filing continued. " . . . There is no known medical connection between shoulder pain which can be treated through acupuncture in the area of a male's genitalia."
Now 18, Moore received NCAA Rookie of the Week and Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors earlier this month (via mgoblue.com) for the eighth-ranked Wolverines. A spokesman for Michigan athletics could not be reached for comment.
Michigan State, which is facing numerous lawsuits and enormous potential payouts in damages and settlements, has argued that the statute of limitations has run out on most of Nassar's accusers. Denhollander joined 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber and others this week in unveiling a proposed rewrite of Michigan law that would, among other responses to Nassar's abuses, greatly lengthen the time limit for victims of sexual assault to sue.