Larry Nassar, the former chief physician to United States Gymnastics, and Michigan State doctor has been waiting to face his sentencing for sexual assault, and the judge finally brought the hammer down.
According to the Associated Press, after a week of harrowing testimony from his victims, one of the most influential being that of Olympian Aly Raisman, Nassar is now faced with the justice that so many over the years were silenced into never fighting for, until now. Over 150 athletes gave their statements and testimonies chronicling systematic sexual abuse and manipulation by Nassar over the years while they were in his care.
The judge in the case, Her honor Rosemarie Aquilina, delivered her sentence with soberingly cold and deliberate words to the 54-year-old predator.
“It is my honor and privilege to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again.You have done nothing to control those urges, and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable. I just signed your death warrant.”
The words that Aquilina used may sound particularly harsh but considering that Nassar abused over 150 women and children, and up until this week downplayed his actions saying that “the media sensationalized” the accusations against him, he is extraordinarily lucky that there are laws that protect everyone, including him.
Nassar spoke to the court today (below) and told his victims that their words have “shaken him to his core” and ” an acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write or convey.”
Nassar’s victims can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their abuser will never walk the streets as a free man again. The sentence doled out today was the second ruling Nassar had in the last two months. In December, he was sentenced on federal charges to 60 years for child pornography charges. Overall, the disgraced doctor has been sentenced to a possible combined 235 years in prison. Parole would not be eligible until the year 2117.
The brave victims who came forward and told their stories can move forward with their lives knowing that Nassar will never be able to abuse another soul. But, as the case against Nassar closes, the case against United States Gymnastics begins.
Many of the women involved mentioned telling people within the organization about what was going on, and their pleas fell on deaf ears. Now that the case has broken wide open, the victims are organizing a civil suit against United States Gymnastics and Michigan State.
No matter what the outcome of the civil case, these victims have become warriors for others who never got the chance or the courage to tell their own stories. In light of all of the current social climate where people are becoming empowered to share their truth, this case has shown that even at the elite level of sports, people in power are abusing it in the worst way possible.
As the world moves forward, the abusers, manipulators, and predators are being torn down; their time is up.
Watch: Olympian Aly Raisman Blasts USOC, USA Gymnastics Over Abuse