LANSING (WWJ) – Disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual assaulting female patients.
“I just signed your death warrant,” Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, as she handed down the sentence on Wednesday for Nassar, who is accused of sexually assaulting women and girls as he worked at Michigan State University and for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
The judge called Nassar “possibly the most prolific serial child sex abuser in history.”
Nassar, 54, addressed the court after more than 100 of his victims gave impact statements (“Enjoy hell” one young woman said) during a proceeding that lasted for more than a week.
“Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself, have shaken me to my core” Nassar said. “I also realize that what I feel pales in comparison to the pain, trauma and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling.”
“There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am as to what occurred,” he added. “An acceptable apology is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven girls and women in the Lansing area between 1998 and 2015 during medical visits, but the hearing was open to all of his accusers who wished to speak. Both the Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics are accused of mishandling the case.
Following Nassar’s statement, Aquilina said she wished to applaud the prosecutor’s office and the defense office saying they all did fine work. She also said there need to be a massive investigation into why there was inaction and why there was silence.
Also at sentencing, Aquilina read a portion of a letter sent by Nassar to the court, which stated that what he did to the women in these state cases was medical and not sexual (this after, when entering his plea, Nassar admitted the procedures had no legitimate medical purpose, and were done for his personal satisfaction alone).
In the letter, Nassar went on to accuse the media of convincing the women and girls that they were abused adding, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” He said the he was manipulated by the attorney general into pleading guilty but he wanted to plead no contest.
Aquilina asked whether he would like to withdraw his plea. He said no and “I accept my plea.”
One woman said when she reported Nassar’s disturbing “treatments” to MSU training staff, she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world-renowned doctor and that his “inter‐vaginal adjustments” were legitimate medical treatments.
The sexual assault sentence is on top of a 60 year sentence on a separate federal conviction for child pornography.