Larry Nassar sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse

People react as former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listens to impact statements during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.

Once a world-renowned sports physician treating America’s foremost Olympic women gymnasts, Larry Nassar now will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, a judge announced Wednesday after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades.

“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom. “I find that you don’t get it, that you’re a danger. That you remain a danger.”

Nassar had pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County in Michigan and admitted to using his trusted medical position to assault and molest girls under the guise of medical treatment.

He offered a short statement in court, apologizing and saying that hearing seven days of victim impact statements had shaken him to his core.

“There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” Nassar said. “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.”

But before delivering her sentence, Aquilina read aloud a letter Nassar wrote to the court recently in which he defended his medical care, said he was “manipulated” into pleading guilty, and accused the women of lying.

“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.”

The letter “tells me you still don’t get it,” Aquilina said, tossing the letter dismissively.

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