WASHINGTON — A prisoner suspected of stabbing Larry Nassar at a federal penitentiary in Florida said the disgraced former sports doctor provoked the attack by making a lewd comment while they were watching a Wimbledon tennis match on TV, a source told The Associated Press.
The inmate, identified as Shane McMillan, was previously convicted of assaulting a correctional officer at a federal penitentiary in Louisiana in 2006 and attempting to stab another inmate to death at the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, in 2011, court records show.
McMillan attacked Nassar in his cell Sunday with a makeshift weapon, stabbing him multiple times in the neck, chest and back before four other inmates rushed in and pulled him off of Nassar, the source told The Associated Press.
Correctional officers assigned to the unit at the United States Penitentiary Coleman responded to Nassar’s cell and performed what officials said were life-saving measures. He was taken to a hospital, where he remained in stable condition Wednesday with injuries that include a collapsed lung.
Cell doors on most federal prison units are typically open during the day, letting prisoners move around freely within the facility. Because Nassar was attacked in his cell, the incident was not captured on surveillance cameras, which only point at common areas and corridors.
McMillan, 49, told prison workers that he attacked Nassar after the sexually abusive ex-U.S. gymnastics team doctor made a comment about wanting to see girls playing in the Wimbledon women’s match, the source told the AP.
It was the second time Nassar has been assaulted in federal custody. He is serving decades in prison for sexually abusing athletes, including college and Olympic gymnastics stars, and possessing explicit images of children.
McMillan was originally sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in Wyoming to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in 2002. He had been expected to be released next year before his convictions for the Louisiana and Colorado prison attacks more than doubled his sentence. McMillan arrived at the Coleman penitentiary last December, according to records obtained by the AP. He’d spent the previous four years at a federal penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona. Nassar was transferred to Coleman from the Tucson penitentiary in August 2018. His lawyers said he’d been assaulted within hours of being placed in general population at the Arizona prison.