An inmate suspected of stabbing Larry Nassar says the disgraced ex-USA Gymnastics doctor provoked the attack by making a lewd comment while the two were watching a Wimbledon tennis match, the Associated Press reported.
The suspected attacker is 49-year-old Shane McMillan, who's serving time alongside Nassar at United States Penitentiary Coleman II, a high-security federal prison about 50 miles northwest of Orlando, Florida. A source told AP that McMillan told prison workers he attacked Nassar because Nassar said he wanted to see girls playing in a Wimbledon women’s match.
Nassar is sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting girls while serving as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State gymnastics. At his sentencing hearing in 2018, 168 survivors detailed accounts of the abuse committed by Nassar. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Jordyn Wieber are among the survivors who testified. Nassar was also convicted on separate child pornography charges and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
McMillan has twice previously committed violent attacks while in prison. He was initially sentenced to more than 20 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in 2002.
Per court records obtained by AP, McMillan's sentence has since been extended after he was convicted of punching a corrections officer at a federal penitentiary in Louisiana in 2006 and attempting to stab an inmate to death at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, in 2011. Per court records, McMillan and another prisoner stabbed the victim 66 times. Both received 20 additional years in prison for the attack.
Nassar was stabbed twice in the neck, twice in the chest and six times in the back on Sunday. A source told the AP that McMillan conducted the attack with a makeshift weapon before four other inmates pulled him off of Nassar. Correctional officers then performed life-saving measures, per the report. Nassar sustained a collapsed lung and remained hospitalized in stable condition as of Wednesday.
The attack took place in Nassar's cell. The cell doors were open as they typically are during the day to allow prisoners to move within the facility, per the AP. The attack took place out of the view of prison cameras. Messages with McMillan's lawyers seeking comment were not returned as of Wednesday afternoon, per the AP.
The federal Bureau of Prisons addressed the attack in a statement to the AP from spokesman Scott Taylor.
“We make every effort to ensure the physical safety of individuals confined to our facilities through a controlled environment that is secure and humane,” Taylor said. “As we continue to pivot out of a yearslong pandemic, there are still challenges to confront and opportunities to improve our agency, protect the lives of those who work for us, and ensure the well-being of those entrusted to our custody.”
Nassar has been incarcerated since 2017. He was transferred to USP Coleman II in 2018 from a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona. This is the second time he's been assaulted since the transfer. Per his lawyers, Nassar was assaulted shortly after being placed into the general population at USP Coleman II.