Houston attorney plans to file new lawsuit in wake of indictments involving Larry Nassar and Debbie Van Horn

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Attorney plans to file new lawsuit in wake of new indictments involving Larry Nassar and Debbie Van Horn. (KTRK)

Hours after prosecutors in Walker County announced indictments against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and a trainer, a Houston attorney says he plans to file a new lawsuit.

Mo Aziz represents former Olympic and USA National Team gymnasts who say they were sexually abused by Nassar. Three of them, under the age of 20, say the abuse happened at the Karolyi Ranch near Huntsville when it was the official training center for USA Gymnastics.

In a news conference Friday afternoon, prosecutors in Walker County announced six indictments for sexual assault of a child against Nassar and one against trainer Debbie Van Horn, saying she was present while it was happening.

They cleared legendary coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi.

"We do not believe there is any corroborated evidence with regard to Bela and Martha Karolyi that they did anything wrong. There may be others who may have fallen within criminal behavior but that's outside the statute of limitations and those would be fail to report cases," explained Walker County prosecutor Stephanie Stroud.

But Aziz says the indictment announced Friday against Van Horn is an indictment against USA Gymnastics and all the adults who were supposed to be protecting the athletes in their care. He plans to file a civil a lawsuit in Walker County.

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"Now with Debbie Van Horn's indictment, I think it proves it's not just a civil lawyer saying, 'Hey something is going on.' This is state agencies looking at the proof and charging her for a sexual crime while she was an employee," said Aziz.

Authorities were critical of USA Gymnastics saying they failed to protect the athletes in their program and did not take appropriate action when made aware of Nassar's crimes. The organization has said they vow to do better.

Earlier this year, Nassar was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for decades of sexual assault against gymnasts and he has yet to step inside a Texas courtroom.

"They clearly feel strongly about their case. They feel crimes were committed in their jurisdiction and they have a right to prosecute those crimes and they want to make a statement about the tolerance level they have for sexual assault," explained Peyton Peebles, a criminal defense lawyer not associated with the case.

Debbie Van Horn's attorney is out of the country and declined to comment.

Attorney David Berg, who represents the Karolyis, told Eyewitness News, "While their victimization does not compare to the girls', they (Karolyis) are victims of Larry Nassar no less. He's a criminal who should rot in hell. The Karolyis have done a great deal for USA Gymnastics and the country and they cannot believe what has happened."

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