US Olympic doctor jailed for 175 years
Ex-US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years after testimony from nearly 160 of his victims. The judge dismissed Nassar’s attempted apology as insincere, saying he would “be in darkness the rest of his life”.
Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault against girls and young women, including Olympians. The 54-year-old had already been sentenced to 60 years for possession of child pornography.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar during the sentencing: “As much as it was my honour and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honour and privilege to sentence you. “Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again.”
She told the paedophile: “You have not owned yet what you did. I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir. “I’ve just signed your death warrant”.
Following seven days of emotional testimony from Nassar’s victims, he was given an opportunity to address the court. “What I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling,” he told the packed courtroom.
“There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” he added. Judge Aquilina revealed he had written a letter to her after his guilty plea claiming his accusers had “fabricated” allegations to gain money and fame.
Court spectators gasped as the judge read a passage in which Nassar said he had been “manipulated” into admitting his guilt. “I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote.
He added in the letter: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” As the judge finished her sentence, witnesses in the packed courtroom stood and applauded her verdict.
His sentencing follows a week of harrowing testimony from scores of women, including Olympic gold medal gymnasts Aly Raisman and Jordyn Weiber.
Their teammates, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, also revealed they had been abused by Nassar. In 2015, USA Gymnastics – the sport’s top governing body – quietly cut ties with Nassar over allegations about his professional care.
An investigation in 2014 resulted in a three-month suspension from Michigan State University (MSU), where he coached. But he continued to see patients until he was publicly accused of abuse in a 2016 report by the Indianapolis Star newspaper.
Later that year, he was arrested and charged by Michigan officials with sexual contact with a child. A year later, he was sentenced for child abuse images found on his computer. (BBC Sport)