“60 Minutes” (02/19/17) – A young man from Enon, Miss., was released early from a 10-year prison sentence he was serving for the shooting death of his little brother. “60 Minutes” reports tonight that Zac Stringer, who was 15 when he shot his brother, has been insisting for years that the rifle went off without his finger on the trigger.
Stringer, now 20, was granted a good behavior release while “60 Minutes” was investigating the Remington 700 rifle used in the shooting. The gun has a trigger mechanism called the X Mark Pro that has since been recalled by the company because it can inadvertently discharge. Remington has received hundreds of complaints that rifles with this trigger produced between 2006 and April 2014 have fired without the trigger pulled. This information was not public during Stringer’s trial.
Lesley Stahl’s report includes Stringer’s father, Roger, who had testified against his son during his trial but now believes he’s innocent.
Then, later in the “60 Minutes” broadcast, three former members of the U.S. National Gymnastics team, one of them an Olympic medalist, describe for the first time the sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of the team’s doctor, Dr. Lawrence Nassar. The women’s attorney, who is suing USA Gymnastics for failing to protect the women, believes hundreds of athletes may have been abused going back to the 1996 Olympic Games. Dr. Jon LaPook reports this story for “60 Minutes,” tonight (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Dr. Nassar, currently in custody on charges of criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography unrelated to the gymnastics team, told the women and girls at the time that he was performing medical treatment on them.
Jessica Howard was the U.S. National champion in rhythmic gymnastics from 1999 to 2001. She recalls one session with Dr. Nassar. “He started massaging me. And he had asked me not to wear any underwear. And then he just continued to go into more and more intimate places,” she tells LaPook. “I remember thinking something was off, but I didn’t feel like I was able to say anything because he was, you know, this very high profile doctor,” says Howard. The girls questioned Nassar’s behavior among themselves. “The girls would say, ‘Yeah, he touches you funny,’” she recalls.
Jeanette Antolin, who competed with the U.S. National Team from 1995 to 2000, felt that way, too. “I remember being uncomfortable because of the area. But, in my mind, I was like, ‘If this helps, I’ll do anything.’” She did not complain. “It was treatment. You don’t complain about treatment,” she tells LaPook
California attorney John Manly represents Howard, Antolin and more than 40 others, including a woman who was 9 years old when the alleged abuse took place. He says Nassar abused many more women. “We know that at least 60 have come forward, but my best estimate is it’s in the hundreds and possibly more,” he tells LaPook. Manley believes the alleged abuse began over 20 years ago. “I believe that, at the end of the day, there are members of every single Olympic team since 1996 he did this to.”
USA Gymnastics declined to speak with “60 Minutes” on camera. In written statements, the organization said that weeks after it learned of a complaint about Dr. Nassar in 2015, it relieved Nassar of his duties with the national team and notified the FBI.
“60 Minutes,” the most successful television broadcast in history, began its 47th season in September 2016. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast begun in 1968 is still a hit in 2015, making Nielsen’s Top 10 list nine consecutive weeks in the fall of 2014.
Over the 2013-2014 season, “60 Minutes” continued its dominance as the number-one news program, drawing an average of 12.2 million viewers per week – almost twice the audience of its nearest network news magazine competitor and three million viewers ahead of the most-watched daily network evening news broadcast. The average audience for a “60 Minutes” broadcast still dwarfs the biggest audiences drawn by cable news programs.
Anderson Cooper, Steve Kroft, Sanjay Gupta; Lara Logan, Scott Pelley, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl and Bill Whitaker all serve as correspondents and contributing correspondents.
The above press release was issued by CBS.