Grand rapids, Michigan, USA : 54-year-old Larry Nassar, the former MSU and Team USA Gymnastics doctor, who admitted to saxually assaulting minors, was sentenced on Thursday, to 60 years in federal prison on child parnography charges.
Federal prosecutors said he had 37,000 images of child parnography, including images of infants. Federal prosecutors had sought the 60-year sentence, which is the maximum under sentencing guidelines.
“You have to wonder whether he felt he was omnipotent, whether he felt he was getting away with something so cleverly. He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children.” U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said Thursday at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building courtroom in downtown Grand Rapids.
He was sentenced to 20 years on each of three counts to which he’s admitted. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
Neff also ordered that his federal time would be served consecutively to state sentences for saxual assault to which he’s also admitted. He will be sentenced next month on those charges.
USA Gymnastics is the largest U.S. gymnastics organization and the national governing body for the sport.
Olympic medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among the scores of girls and women who have come forward to say that theywere abused by Nassar.
More than 100 women and girls are suing Nassar in civil court. Plaintiffs are also suing USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, where he was a doctor and faculty member.
“I had a dream to go to the Olympics,” Maroney wrote in October in alleging she was abused by Nassar, “and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.”
Nassar pleaded guilty in July to three federal charges after investigators said he possessed at least 37,000 graphic videos and images of child parnography, including images of prepubescent children engaged in sax acts.
He also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for trying to destroy the evidence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Nassar paid to have his work laptop wiped clean and threw away hard drives containing the parnography. Investigators were only able to obtain those hard drives at Nassar’s Holt property because the garbage truck happened to be running late that day, according to court records.
Some of the videos appeared to show Nassar assaulting young girls in a pool, investigators said. As part of a deal with federal prosecutors to obtain his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed they would not charge him with alleged saxual exploitation of children in relation to four reported victims.
Thursday’s sentencing ends one of three criminal cases against Nassar. He’s also pleaded guilty to saxual assault charges in both Ingham and Eaton counties and could get to up to life in prison in those cases when he’s sentenced next month.
In still-pending lawsuits related to Nassar’s admitted crimes, more than 140 women or girls have said Nassar assaulted them, often during medical appointments.
Nassar was for decades an esteemed sports medicine doctor. USA Gymnastics sent him to almost every summer Olympic Games, from 1996 in Atlanta — where he was photographed in the iconic image of an injured Kerri Strug being helped off a platform — to London in 2012.
He started working at MSU, where he had earned his osteopathic medicine degree, in 1997.
Nassar left USA Gymastics in 2015. MSU fired him in September 2016. He lost his medical license earlier this year.