Update: A federal judge sentenced former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges Thursday morning, as reported by ESPN. The ruling is essentially a life sentence for the 54-year-old.
“It’s imperative Mr. Nassar be deterred as long as possible,” Judge Janet Neff said before announcing the sentence, as reported by ESPN. “For the rest of his life, he should never again have access to children.”
This sentencing is separate from the 140-plus women accusing him of sexual assault in civil and criminal complaints, which will be addressed in a hearing next month, as reported by The Washington Post.
Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and former U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney have all accused Nassar of sexual assault.
Previously: As expected, former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven counts of first-degree criminal conduct, as reported by CNN, having used the power of his position to sexually abuse underage girls.
According to CNN.com, three of the charges represented victims under 13, while another three applied to victims ages 13 to 15. The website reported that other charges against Nassar were reduced or dismissed as part of his plea agreement. However, that same plea agreement will allow all of his 125 victims, who reported his assaults to the Michigan State Police, to give impact statements during his sentencing on January 12.
This month, Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman (shown left) and most recently Gabby Douglas (middle) publicly claimed to be sexual-abuse victims of Nassar’s, as did former gymnast McKayla Maroney (right) last month, although it’s unclear whether they officially reported those incidents to the police. The New York Times reports that Nassar, 54, is expected to face at least 25 years in prison.
In court Wednesday, Nassar offered the following apology, as reported by CNN.com:
“For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control. I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that.”
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina wasn’t having it, applauding the victims for bravely coming forward.
“You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way to abuse children,” she said, as reported by CNN.com. “I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”
Aquilina added: “You violated the oath that you took, which is to do no harm, and you harmed them selfishly. They are superheroes for all of America because this is an epidemic.”
Raisman offered the following thoughts to Nassar’s guilty plead today.
Nassar must also await a separate sentencing on federal child pornography charges in a hearing scheduled for Monday.
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