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Larry Nassar loses final appeal in sexual assault case

Former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to decades in prison after sexually assaulting gymnasts. Photo by Rena Laverty/EPA-EFE
Former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to decades in prison after sexually assaulting gymnasts. Photo by Rena Laverty/EPA-EFE

June 17 (UPI) -- Former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts, lost his final appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, the court said Friday.

The court said in an order that it declined to "expend additional judicial resources and further subject the victims in this case to additional trauma" and said the questions at hand were "nothing more than an academic exercise."

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Judge Rosemarie Aquilina issued the initial sentence to Nassar in 2018 in Ingram County Circuit Court in Lansing, Mich. He was convicted on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, a first-degree felony.

That punishment stemmed from his interactions with Olympians and other young gymnasts and athletes, which also occurred during his employment at Michigan State.

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Nassar's attorneys claimed that Aquilina was "not an unbiased and impartial" judge, based, in part, on statements she made during and after sentencing. They moved to have her disqualified, but that motion was denied.

Friday's court order said Nassar's appeal was a "close question" and the court had "concerns" about Aquilina's "conduct." The court also said the judge's imposed sentences were "within range agreed upon" by lawyers in the case.

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Aquilina said at the sentencing that she signed Nassar's "death warrant." She also called him a "monster" and said she hoped he would "wither" in prison, in addition to other critical comments.

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"I find that you don't get it," Aquilina said of Nassar. "You're a danger."

Dozens of victims spoke at Nassar's seven-day hearing in 2018, including Team USA's Aly Raisman. Fellow star gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Simone Biles are among others who have said they were abused by Nassar.

Nearly 100 women, including Raisman, Maroney and Biles, have filed federal tort claims against the FBI for mishandling its investigation into Nassar. They demand $1 billion in damages.

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The Justice Department said in May that it would not charge to former FBI agents for failure to properly investigate allegations against Nassar.

Nassar, 58, is currently in federal prison on child pornography charges. He will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Olympic gymnasts testify in Senate on Larry Nassar case

U.S. Olympics gymnasts McKayla Maroney (L) and Aly Raisman attend a press conference Wednesday after testifying during a Senate judiciary committee hearing about the Inspector General's report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

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