Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the United States gymnastics team, was sentenced to a prison term of not less than 40 and not more than 175 years in prison resulting from a plea of guilty by Nassar for sexually assaulting seven young girls.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina gave the sentence on Wednesday after allowing over 150 victims of Nassar to make victim impact statements to the court. Aquilina, who was visibly upset, was reported to tell Nassar “I just signed your death warrant” during the proceedings.
Nassar had been accused of molestation by many girls and women including some that were Olympic gymnasts. The sexual misconduct is said to have occurred while Nassar provided medical treatment for members of the USA gymnastics team as well as female athletes at Michigan State University. The sentence imposed on Wednesday was for offenses committed in Ingham County Michigan. Nassar is still facing charges in nearby Eaton County.
In the moments leading up to imposing the sentence on Nassar, Aquilina read portions of a letter written by Nassar. In the letter, Nassar suggested that the allegations against him were due to his accusers seeking attention from the media and monetary gain. Nassar even referred to his accusers as scorned women with a quote that caused audible gasps to collectively come from onlookers in the courtroom.
Nassar also expressed his criticisms in a separate child pornography case in which he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
The fallout that has resulted from the revelations of Nassar’s misconduct has been drastic and far-reaching. Several board members and the chairman of the United States gymnastics team have been forced to resign. And on Wednesday evening, Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University also announced that she would relinquish her post.
The NCAA is performing an independent investigation of Michigan State’s response to the allegations made against Nassar.
The lawsuits against Nassar, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics continue to mount and many of these suits allege that officials were knowledgeable of Nassar’s abuse and did not act to put an end to the misconduct.
The first public accusation against Nassar was Rachael Denhollander who is now a lawyer in the state of Kentucky. Denhollander reached out to the Indianapolis Star after becoming conscious of an investigation regarding sexual abuse within USA Gymnastics. Denhollander also made a report of her allegations the following week to Michigan State University.