Trainer who worked with Nassar arrested in Texas
Houston – Authorities in Texas arrested a former sports medicine trainer charged in connection to Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor who admitted to molesting gymnasts for years.
The Walker County District Attorney’s Office said Debra Van Horn was detained Thursday morning by Homeland Security officials at a Houston airport as she exited a flight from China.
A grand jury indicted Van Horn on a single count of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Walker County District Attorney David Weeks previously reported Van Horn, who worked for USA Gymnastics for 30 years, was charged as “acting as a party” with Nassar.
"This indictment is an over-reach and has destroyed this woman’s impeccable reputation in her community," her Texas-based attorney, Emily Detoto, told The Detroit News late Thursday. "She stands to lose everything by a mere inflammatory accusation, which will be shown to be nothing more than folks willing to use her as a convenient scapegoat."
Detoto said Van Horn will enter a plea of not guilty "as she is innocent of these horrific charges."
"Under Texas law, folks can be indicted as a party to an offense," she said. "However, in the real world, we call that 'guilt by association,' and I believe it will become clear that she is being accused for being 'merely associated,' with a man who has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced."
The District Attorney’s Office said Van Horn's first court appearance is set for Sept. 24. She has been booked into the Walker County Jail.
Nassar was sentenced in Michigan earlier this year to decades in prison.
Detroit News Staff Writer Sarah Rahal contributed to this report.