Lansing, Michigan, USA : Following 7 days of hearing, Circuit Court Judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, today sentenced former Team USA-gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 150 victims came forward with stories of saxual abuse. Nassar was earlier sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child parnography crimes.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Larry Nassar that he will “be in darkness the rest of his life.”
“You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” said Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who handed down a sentence of 40 to 175 years but said Nassar would serve the maximum.
“I just signed your death warrant,” Aquilina said, handing down the sentence after seven days of statements by 156 women who say he abused them.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people in the Lansing area, but as part of his plea deal, all of the victims who reported assaults to Michigan State Police were allowed to give victim impact statements at the sentencing. His accusers said he would use his ungloved hands to penetrate them, often without explanation, while they were on a table seeking help for various injuries.
The accusers, many of whom were children, said they trusted Nassar to care for them properly, were in denial about what was happening or were afraid to speak up. He sometimes used a sheet or his body to block the view of any parent in the room.
The women have included Olympians Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney.
Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis called Larry Nassar “possibly the most prolific child sax abuser in history.”
Angela Povilaitissaid Larry Nassar believed he could “get away” with his abuse and that he was “untouchable.”
“It should not take a collection of 37,000 vile & disgusting images to believe these women & girls. It shouldn’t take investigative journalism to expose predators.” she added in her closing statement before the judge imposed sentence.
Before he was sentenced, Larry Nassar told his saxual assault victims that “no words” can describe how sorry he is for his crimes. He said the testimony of more than 150 victims since last week has “shaken me to my core.”
He said, “I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days” as many of his accusers openly wept.
Nassar practiced at the very top tier with some of the most elite American gymnasts. In 1986, he began working with USA Gymnastics, the governing body that selects Olympic teams, as an athletic trainer. After he went to medical school at Michigan State University, he became the chief medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics in 1996. At photos taken at the 1996 Olympics, he’s pictured next to American gymnast Kerri Strug after her famous ankle injury, and he attended the games in Sydney in 2000, Beijing in 2008, and London in 2012.
He was also part of the faculty at Michigan State, where he had taught and practiced medicine since 1997 — meaning he wasn’t only a renowned sports physician but also part of an academic institution.
Then in September 2015, Nassar abruptly retired from USA Gymnastics with little fanfare. (He’d stepped down from his chief medical coordinator position but had originally planned to stay on as the team doctor for the 2016 Olympics.)
A year later, a flood of saxual assault allegations began to explain why.
Nassar was sentenced separately in December to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to child parnography charges in federal court.
The case set off investigations into protections for athletes both at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University in Lansing, where Nassar also worked.
EARLIER : EX Team USA Gymnastics Doctor Gets 60 Yrs Prison For Child Parnography 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.