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Larry Nassar 'Very Concerned' About Ability to Face Witnesses' Testimony

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2018

In this Nov. 22, 2017 file photo, Dr. Larry Nassar, 54, appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing, Mich. Nasser, a sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded, guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State Team USA gymnastics physician, wrote a letter to Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina requesting that the four days of victim testimony—required as a part of his guilty plea in his sexual assault case—be stopped.

"I'm very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses the next four days, mentally," he wrote, per Kellie Rowe of Fox2 News.

His request was denied.

"You may find it harsh that you are here, listening. But nothing is as harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands," Judge Aquilina said, per Fox2 Detroit. "Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives."

In total, 105 women are expected to offer witness impact statements, though Judge Aquilina noted there is no limit set on how many victims can speak. 

Nassar entered 10 guilty pleas on various sexual assault charges in Michigan, along with previously pleading guilty in federal court on child pornography charges. He is facing 25 years to life in prison for his guilty plea in Michigan and was sentenced to 60 years in prison following his guilty plea in federal court, though Nassar has filed an appeal in that sentencing.

A number of U.S. gymnasts, including Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Jamie Dantzscher, have all said Nassar sexually assaulted them. 

"Like I've said, and I'll say time and time again, the abuse is not something that you suffer just in the moment," Raisman told Bob Ley on ESPN's Outside the Lines (h/t Julia Jacobo of ABC News). "It carries on with you for the rest of your life. And even though I'm not there today, I still feel it."

Raisman was also critical of how the situation was handled by USA Gymnastics, who quietly fired Nassar in 2015.

"You know, their biggest priority from the beginning and still today is their reputation—the medals they win and the money they make off of us," she said. "I don't think that they care."

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