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Louisville Woman Credited For Coming Forward About Doctor's Abuse

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (LEX 18) The former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting patients pleaded guilty Wednesday to more charges. A Louisville woman was the first to come forward publicly and accuse him of sexual abuse. 

Larry Nassar's accusers also include team USA members Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman. 

One hundred thirty five patients have accused Larry Nassar of sexually abusing them during examinations. Rachel Denhollander was the first to come forward publicly a year ago.

Denhollander lives in Louisville, but the abuse happened when she was a 15-year-old gymnast in Michigan. She is credited for opening the floodgates for the dozens of other victims who say Nassar abused them too. 

"It's a big sense of relief. I think there is a sense of closure, there's a sense of justice, having him have to acknowledge what he did, I think was a really important step that needed to be taken. At the same time, I feel like it's very incomplete because Larry is one person," she said. 

Denhollander said she spent years researching, trying to find out if what happened to her was part of a medical exam or abuse. 

Nassar pleaded guilty to three more criminal charges of sexual assault Wednesday. NBC obtained court records saying that state officials at Michigan State University didn't encourage gymnasts to report abuse. Denhollander said that they're a major part of the problem.

"When you look at just,  the overall culture toward abuse at MSU, you really see a culture of silencing the victims and standing up for the perpetrators,” she said,

Michigan State released a statement thanking the campus police department and detectives for building the criminal case that led to Nassar's convictions. 

He faces a minimum of 25 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

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