Thursday, January 25

Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing female athletes

larry-sassar-sentenced-to-175-years-in-prison
Former USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, has been sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for sexually for abusing female athletes, according to Guardian reports.

Nassar had previously pleaded guilty to molesting 7 girls in his care under the guise of treatment. But a total of 156 girls and women testify against him at his sentencing hearing.

Another 24 girls and women also submitted private letters to the court, explaining how they too suffered abuse at the hands of Nassar.

“It is my honor to sentence you because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, who gave the judgement said. “Anywhere you walk, destruction would occur to those most vulnerable.”

The judge added: “I just signed your death warrant.”

Judge Aquilina said the sentence reflected not only the seven counts to which Nassar pleaded guilty, but also the survivors who came forward during the sentencing hearing “because the depth of all of your crimes have cut into the core of this community”.

“The breadth and ripple of this defendant’s abuse and destruction is infinite,” prosecuting attorney Angela Povilaitis said in her closing remarks. “Nassar used his prestige to gain [his victims’] trust and to exploit them, leaving many of them emotionally shattered by a man they not only trusted but loved. In competitive gymnastics, he found the perfect place for his master manipulation.”

Nassar, giving a brief statement before the sentencing, acknowledged the “pain, trauma and emotional destruction” experienced by his victims..

He said:

"Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core."

"I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days."

“Sir, I hope that’s true,” the judge said after Nassar concluded.

Judge Aquilina read portions of the six-page, single-spaced letter Nassar wrote to the judge last week in which he said it was too difficult for him to listen to the victim impact statements, citing it as proof that “you have still not owned what you did”.

“Would you like to withdraw your plea?” the judge asked.

“No, your honor,” he said.

“Because you’re guilty, aren’t you, sir?”

“I accept my plea.”

Nassar's victims who testified included Olympic champions Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, and other high profile victims who didn’t includes Simone Biles, who just last week came out to say on Twitter that she too was abused by Nassar.

Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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