Larry Nassar gets 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting athletes

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 24, 2018 at 1:29 PM
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Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday at Ingram County Circuit Court in Lansing, Mich.

He was convicted on all seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, a first-degree felony.

Nassar's seven-day sentencing hearing began on Jan. 16. He heard from 168 women and girls who testified or had statements read in the last two weeks, detailing instances of sexual assault. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison in December on child pornography charges in federal court.

"It is my privilege, on counts 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 18 and 24 to sentence you to 40 years," Aquilina said at the sentencing Wednesday. "... 40 years, just so you know and can count it off your calendar is 480 months."

"... my page only goes to 100 years," the judge continued. "Sir, I'm giving you 175 years, which is 2,100 months. I've just signed your death warrant."

Aquilina said that Nassar doesn't "get it," remains a danger and is beyond rehabilitation.

The 54-year-old joined the Team USA national team staff in 1986. He held the role as the team's medical coordinator until 2015. Nassar also served as a doctor at Michigan State.

He pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and has pleaded guilty to three similar charges elsewhere in Michigan in a separate case.

Michigan assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis asked the judge for the minimum of 40 years to at least 125 years prior to the sentencing.

Povilaitis referred to Nassar as "possibly the most prolific series child sex abuser in history."

On Monday, several members of USA Gymnastics' board of directors elected to resign, following criticism from top Olympic gymnasts, including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.

Raisman and Biles were among the gymnasts who said they were abused by Nassar.

"Your words these past several days -- their words, your words -- have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has shaken me to my core. What I am feeling pales in comparison to [your] pain, trauma and emotional destruction," Nassar said in a statement before the judge.

But Aquilina also read excerpts from a letter written by Nassar, where he claimed his actions with the victims was "medical not sexual." He also claimed that the media "sensationalized" his case.

"'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," Nassar wrote in the letter, according to Aquilina.

Michigan State University faces more than 140 lawsuits filed by former patients of Nassar, according to MLive Media Group. The sports physician was employed at the school from 1997 to 2017. The Detroit News reported that 14 Michigan State University representatives had knowledge of reports of sexual misconduct from Nassar in the two decades before his arrest.

More than 10,500 people have signed a Care2 petition urging Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon to resign amid the Nassar scandal. The petition also asked the university to forgive all medical bills of Nassar's victims.

Aly Raisman and Simone Biles of the United States smile after they win the silver and gold medals in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

The NCAA is also investigating the school.

Nassar's attorney Matt Newburg said his legal team received an email with death threats, including some directed at their families, on Wednesday morning.

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