- Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on Wednesday at the conclusion of a seven-day sentencing hearing.
- Just before sentencing Nassar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read from a letter that Nassar had recently written, arguing that it was evidence that he had not come to terms with his crimes.
- The courtroom crowd could be heard reacting with shock and horror at multiple points as Judge Aquilina read back excerpts.
Former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on Wednesday by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on charges of sexual assault.
The sentencing hearing lasted seven days and saw more than 150 women come forward to speak to the abuse committed against them by Nassar.
After the women spoke, Nassar gave a statement of apology. “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 the sentencing hearing ended, Judge Aquilina read excerpts from a letter that Nassar had recently written to the court which the judge says showed that he had not accepted what he had done.
Throughout the letter, Nassar argued that because of his previous sentencing of 60 years for charges of child pornography, he was not being treated fairly, and appeared to stand by how he treated his patients, even blaming the victims for returning to his practice. As Judge Aquilina read:
“What I did in the state cases was medical, not sexual, but because of the porn I lost all credibility. So I’m trying to avoid a trial to save the stress to my community, my family…yet look what’s happening. It’s wrong. I was a good doctor, because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised and came back over and over. The media convinced them that it was wrong and bad.”
In the most shocking moment of the letter, Judge Aquilina emphasised Nassar’s words, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” The crowd gathered in the courtroom groaned in horror in response to the line.
Judge Aquilina continued reading Nassar’s letter:
“It is just a complete nightmare. The stories that are being fabricated to sensationalize this. I was so manipulated by the AG, and now Aquilina, and all I wanted was to minimise stress to everyone.”
Nassar also claimed that his work with the USA Gymnastics was medical in nature, and accused the women sharing their stories of doing it for personal gain. “The FBI investigated [my treatments of the Olympic team] in 2015 and found nothing substantial because it was medical. Now they are seeking the media attention and financial reward.”
After finishing reading that excerpt to the court, Judge Aquilina tossed the letter aside in apparent disgust.
This GIF of Judge Aquilina throwing away the letter Larry Nassar wrote the court about how hard it is for him to listen to victim testimonies PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL. pic.twitter.com/5HB9WMaPqU
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) January 24, 2018
Judge Aquilina then asked Nassar if he wished to withdraw his plea.
You can watch the entirety of Judge Aquilina’s reading of the letter below.
After reading letter written by disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, saying victims came back "over and over," and "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," judge drops the letter and asks if he wants to withdraw plea. https://t.co/xMdwSikVdO pic.twitter.com/Qz3r9bfkee
— ABC News (@ABC) January 24, 2018
After completing the sentencing, Judge Aquilina expressed her feelings about hearing the case. “It was my honour and privilege to hear these survivors. It’s my honour to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison again.”
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