Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, gets maximum 60-year sentence
Nassar, accused of assaulting U.S. gymnasts, is still awaiting sentencing for molestation
Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor who faces several sexual assault cases from alleged abuse of Olympics gymnasts, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography on Thursday in a federal court in Michigan.
Nassar had already "pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of possessing child pornography, receipt of child pornography and obstruction of justice for trying to destroy evidence last year as police closed in."
As John Agar reported from Grand Rapids:
U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said Thursday Nassar "used his position to damage lives."
"He has demonstrated he should never again have access to children," Neff said.
The government said he had 37,000 images of child pornography, including images of children as young as infants.
U.S. attorney Sean Lewis told Judge Neff that Nassar's collection of child porn was "shockingly large," according to ESPN. More than 37,000 illegal videos and images were obtained, the attorney revealed, and were indicative of the type of abuse that was alleged in hundreds of separate misconduct reports, as ABC News noted:
Nassar also pleaded guilty to 10 state counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in November. Those charges stem mostly from him sexually assaulting young women who came to him for medical care. Many of the 125 women who filed police reports against him in those cases said he used his hands to penetrate them -- some when they were younger than 13 years old -- and claimed it was part of a medical procedure. He admitted in court last month that what he was doing was not a legitimate medical procedure.
Nassar is still awaiting sentencing for the separate assault cases involving Team USA gymnasts, including medal winners Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney,cases after seeing how the doctor's sexual abuse "transformed" their daughter's life.
Shannon Smith, one of Nassar's attorneys, told The Detroit News that the ex-doctor was "devastated" by the 60-year sentence for child porn and that he would appeal the punishment because "he has nothing to lose:"
Nassar, 54, walked out of court with his head down after Neff delivered his sentence, the first for his crimes.
Nassar said it was a disease he had been struggling with for years and he hoped he could be forgiven.
"I tried to improve myself," he said. "I lost everything because of this. ... I chose wrongly."
He also said: "I really tried to be a good person. I really tried to help people."
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