Larry Nassar sentencing for sexual abuse: 'I just signed your death warrant'
Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to 40-175 years
Larry Nassar will never see the outside of a prison ever again. After seven days and more than 160 victim impact statements, the disgraced former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor was sentenced on Wednesday to 40-175 years in prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with children under the age of 16, some of them Olympians. Of the statements, 156 of them came from the victims themselves.
Nassar complained to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina at one point in the proceedings,saying that being subjected to the statements was "mental cruelty." Aquilina dismissed the complaint, adding that listening to the statements was part of Nassar's plea deal, and the statements went on as planned.
Nassar, 54, listened as each woman gave their statement, many of whom were children at the time of his abuse. Aquilina praised each gymnast, and called them "sister survivors." She also thanked each of them for their statements.
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman delivered a particularly pointed message to Nassar, saying thatMcKayla Maroney also delivered a statement through a representative, and Jordyn Wieber delivered one as well.
When he was asked to apologize by now 18-year-old Emily Morales, Nassar obliged on Tuesday.
Nassar's sentence of 40-175 years will be served on top of 60 years he's already received for the possession of child pornography. "He's not coming out between the three sentences that he will get. So you shouldn't be scared anymore," Aquilina said in response to a victim last week. Nassar gave a statement apologizing to the victims before his sentence. Aquilina indicted Nassar's actions and statements before her sentencing, reading more of the letter that he wrote to her.
Aquilina said she would not give statements after the sentence was handed down, saying that "it's just not my story." However, she said plenty to Nassar before sentencing him. Immediately after she gave him the number of years in prison, Aquilina said that she "just signed [Nassar's] death warrant."
As she read her reasoning for Nassar's sentencing, she cited his unapologetic nature. In the letter, Nassar wrote "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," a sentence that was met with gasps from the courtroom. She added that it was an "honor" and a "privilege" to sentence Nassar, saying that she "wouldn't send [her] dogs" to Nassar. When she concluded with Nassar's letter, Aquilina casually flipped it aside.
Nassar was quiet during his sentencing, and Aquilina asked him if he wanted to withdraw his plea after reading bits from the letter. At that point, Nassar said that he'd said all he needed to say. Aquilina told Nassar that he does not "deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."
Aquilina added that "Your decision to assault was calculated, precise, devious, despicable. You played on everyone's vulnerability. I'm not vulnerable."
The case was an emotional one, and it showed. Aquilina's language was pointed, and she emphasized that she would not speak to media without a survivor. She also told the victims that they were not victims anymore, but survivors themselves. She added that anyone involved in Nassar's case has to be investigated. When Nassar left the courtroom, it burst into applause as he went to begin his sentence. His first year of eligibility for parole will be in 99 years -- or 2117.
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