WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Former USA Gymnastics trainer Debra Van Horn has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a child.
- The longtime former trainer was apprehended Thursday and was booked at the Walker County Jail in Huntsville, Texas.
- Van Horn has previously worked with former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar, a convicted serial child molester.
Sixty-three-year-old former USA Gymnastics trainer Debra Van Horn was arrested and charged for sexually assaulting a child. Homeland Security apprehended her on Thursday upon her arrival from China at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, according to a statement released by Walker County District Attorney’s Office.
Van Horn was known to have previously worked with former Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, a convicted child molester.
In June, Van Horn and Nassar were indicted on second-degree sexual assault of a child citing alleged incidents that took place at Texas’ Karolyi gymnastics ranch. Nassar was indicted on six counts, while Van Horn was indicted on one.
Van Horn’s attorney, Emily DeToto said “Ms. Van Horn is returning to the United States to answer these false accusations and clear her impeccable name and reputation,” adding that “Ms. Van Horn is innocent of these charges.”
According to DeToto, Ms. Van Horn is charged as a “party, under the law of parties.” Van Horn is set to appear in court on September 24 with a bond of $20,000.
According to the Associated Press, a medical supervisory task force and many gymnastic youth development programs involved the services of Van Horn, who was a veteran of USA Gymnastics for 30 years.
The organization stated that Van Horn has now ceased to be a USA Gymnastics employee. She’s the only person in the team, after Nassar, that’s currently facing sexual abuse charges.
Earlier this year, one of Nassar’s victims recalled Van Horn’s presence in the room “many of the times” as she was being abused, the Associated Press reported. In December of 2016, Nassar was convicted for child pornography and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
A total of 156 women testified against Nassar, and he was sentenced in January to a maximum of 175 years in prison. The former USA Gymnastics doctor will likely be in jail for the rest of his life for the sexual abuse acts he committed for nearly 20 years.