By Cortney O’Brien
USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 175 years in prison at Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan.
“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Wednesday, adding that she doesn’t believe rehabilitation is possible.
Over the past seven days, over 150 victims explained how Nassar had taken advantage of them sexually, some of whom were Olympians. Before the sentencing hearings, Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas, Simone Biles, and McKayla Maroney all released statements explaining how Nassar had abused them. Another Olympian gymnast, Jordyn Wieber, joined Raisman as they shared their testimonies in court.
Raisman took the U.S. Olympic Committee to task too. Why didn’t they do more to put Nassar behind bars? They are “shamelessly taking credit” for resignations and not accepting accountability, she charged.
“We believe you and always have,” Michigan assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis told the victims shortly before the sentencing. “You are our heroes.”
Aquilina asked Nassar what he had to say prior to sentencing.
“Your words have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core,” Nassar said, looking directly at his victims in the court.
“There are no words to express how sorry I am,” he added. “I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
“Are you broken because you got caught?” Aquilina wondered. She “hoped” that was not the case.
Yet, Aquilina continued to read letters Nassar had written that suggested he was anything but remorseful. What he did was “medical, not sexual,” he had written. As Aquilina read his words, the courtroom grimaced.
“I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir,” the judge concluded.