“I Just Signed Your Death Warrant” — Judge Sentences Larry Nassar to 175 Years in Prison
Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the former team doctor for the U.S.A. gymnastics team who plead guilty to 7 counts of criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who exclaimed, as she made her ruling, “I just signed your death warrant.”
Nassar had faced a minimum term of 25 to 40 years. In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting athletes under the guise of providing medical treatment.
“You’ve done nothing to deserve to walk outside a prison again,” Aquilina said as she handed down the sentence, according to a live broadcast of the sentencing. “It is my honor and privilege to sentence you.”
Nassar apologized before he was sentenced.
“Your words these past several days, your words (as he turned to look at women in the courtroom) have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has shaken me to my core. I also recognize what I’m feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you have felt,” Nassar said, according to a live broadcast of the sentencing.
But before Nassar was sentenced, Aquilina read snippets of a letter he had earlier submitted to the court. In the letter, he wrote that his accusers were seeking media attention and money. He also complained about how he was treated in the federal child pornography case last year.
Here is one piece of Nassar’s letter that Aquilina read during the sentencing:
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The media is sensationalizing this. The [attorney general’s office] forced me to [plea guilty]. I was so manipulated by the AG, and now Aquilina, and all I wanted was to minimize stress to everyone. The FBI investigated [my Olympic treatments] in 2015 because nothing was wrong. Now they’re seeking the media attention and financial reward.
The sentencing came at the close of a 7-day hearing in which more than 150 women were able to publicly address Nassar about the sexual abuse he inflicted upon them during his time as a doctor for the USA Gymnastics team and at Michigan State University.
Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Aly Raisman was among the dozens of women who addressed Nassar in the Ingham County courthouse in Michigan. Raisman was part of the Fierce Five, the nickname for the 2016 gymnastics team that won the team gold medal in 2012. Four of the Fierce Five, including McKayla Maroney wrote an impact statement letter, which was read to the court earlier this week, while Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.