Former USA Gymnastics physician and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced on Wednesday to between 40 and 175 years in prison after over 150 women and girls claimed he sexually abused them over the last 20 years.
Nasssar’s sentencing came after he had pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Michigan, CNN reports. The Olympic doctor said he abused of his prominent medical position to molest young girls.
“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said in the Lansing courtroom. “I find that you don’t get it, that you’re a danger. That you remain a danger.”
The physician’s statement expressed remorse. “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
The apology contrasted with a letter Nassar previously penned, read aloud by Aquilina before delivering her sentence.
“I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Nassar’s 40 to 175-year sentence will be added to a separate sentence of 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.
In addition, Nassar pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County, Michigan. He will be sentenced for those charges on January 31.
Aquilina declared that the 54-year-old Nassar will never be released from prison.
The sentence served as the capstone to seven days of victim impact statements, which were part of Nassar’s plea deal.
“The breadth and ripple of this defendant’s abuse and destruction is nearly infinite,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said.
“Sexual abuse is so much more than a disturbing physical act,” victim Kyle Stephens asserted. “It changes the trajectory of a victim’s life, and that is something that nobody has the right to do.”
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman also spoke:
“We, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry. We are here. We have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
The Nassar case has brought attention to abuse in the gymnastics. Many of the victims claimed to have had their experiences ignored by USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and the US Olympic Committee.
“We were ultimately strong enough to take you down,” victim Kaylee Lorincz declared. “Not one by one, but by an army of survivors. We are Jane Does no more.”
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