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January 24, 2018 all-day
Once a world-renowned sports physician treating America’s foremost Olympic women gymnasts, Larry Nassar now will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, a judge announced Wednesday, after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades.
The sentence brings to an end a wrenching seven days of victim impact statements as part of Nassar’s plea deal. A total of 156 victims spoke, recounting similar stories of how they went to Nassar to receive treatment for sports injuries only to be sexually assaulted and told it was a form of treatment.
Separately, he has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges. He also has pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County in Michigan and is due to be sentenced on those charges on January 31.
Court officials initially expected 88 victims to speak in court. But that number nearly doubled over the course of the sentencing hearing as more and more women came forward, inspired to speak out by what many called an “army of survivors.”
Judge Aquilina allowed everyone who wished to speak a chance to be heard, and she offered personal responses to each woman in court. Legal experts said her intimate comments were unusual, but Nassar’s victims praised Aquilina for doing what so many others had failed to do: listen.
Following the trial MSU President Lou Anna Simon and Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned. William Strampel, Nassar’s boss as the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, resigned previously for health reasons, but new interim President John Engler has called for his tenure status to be revoked.
Source : Eric Levenson, “Larry Nassar sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse” CNN, January 24, 2018.