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Larry Nassar accuser count is up to 265, judge says

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By Tracy Connor

The number of women who say former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them has shot up to 265, a judge overseeing his latest sentencing hearing in Michigan said Wednesday.

The new number means dozens of new accusers have come forward and spoken to authorities, but Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham said there could be an "infinite number" of unidentified victims.

Nassar, 54, has been criminally charged in just 10 cases. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Ingham County last week after pleading guilty to molesting seven girls at his Michigan State University office. In Eaton County, the onetime USA Gymnastics team doctor pleaded guilty to abusing three more girls at a local training club.

Related: 'We were wrong': Michigan police apologize for doubting Nassar accuser

More than 150 women and girls gave impact statements at his Ingham County sentencing earlier this month, an extraordinary outpouring that captured the nation's attention and brought dramatic change that continued Wednesday with the resignation of the entire board of USA Gymnastics.

The accusers who spoke on Wednesday including 15-year-old Erin Blayer, who began seeing Nassar for a back injury when she was 12.

More than 150 gave impact statements at a marathon sentencing hearing for Dr. Larry Nassar. Top row, from left, Mattie Larson, Emma Ann Miller, Megan Ginter, middle row, Jordyn Wieber, Olivia Cowan, Kyle Stephens, bottom row, Jessica Smith, Taylor Cole, Aly Raisman.Reuters; Getty Images

She said that after Nassar was first accused, she initially denied he had ever done anything wrong, even though deep down she knew something wasn't right about his invasive pelvic "treatments," performed without a glove or a parent in the room.

As the scandal progressed, she said she felt sick when schoolmates would chant, "Free Larry Nassar!" She was gripped by anxiety and her grades started slipping until she confided in her mother what had really happened.

"I was speechless and helpless, and now you are," she told Nassar, who has to listen to all accusers under his plea agreement.

Blayer said she had learned lessons from her ordeal. Among them: "The bad guy never wins" and "My last tears have already been shed over you."

She said the women who testified before her had given her the strength to face Nassar and tell her story at a time when her biggest worry should have been the school dance.

"I know I am just a voice," she said. "But lucky for me, I am part of an army."

The institutions where Nassar worked have scrambled in recent days to respond to public outrage that Nassar was not stopped sooner. Among the fallout:

The 265 accusers include six Olympic medalists who say Nassar repeatedly molested them. Simone Biles, the star of the 2016 games, told TODAY that she is still suffering the effects of what happened.

"It feels like he took a part of me that I can't get back," Biles said.

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