Larry Nassar Sentenced to 40-175 Years in Prison in USAG Sexual Abuse Case

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2018

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is about to be led away following his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, January 16, 2018.
Victims of sexual abuse by Nassar delivered gut-wrenching emotional testimony at the court hearing which could see him sentenced to prison for life. Nassar has been accused of molesting more than 100 female athletes during the three decades he worked with USA Gymnastics and at Michigan State University. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins        (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
GEOFF ROBINS/Getty Images

Former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with children under the age of 16.

The Associated Press confirmed the sentence. CBS News provided video from the hearing:

Nassar is already serving a 60-year prison sentence on child pornography charges and is yet to be sentenced on a further three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Dating back to last week, over 160 accusers and their family members either spoke in person or provided written statements against Nassar as part of his sentencing hearing, according to CNN.com's Madison Park and Eric Levenson.

Per Park and Levenson, Nassar admitted to using his status as a doctor to commit sexual assault over a period of two decades.

Prior to his sentencing Wednesday, Nassar apologized, as seen in the following video courtesy of NBC News:

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina then addressed the contents of a letter Nassar sent her two months after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual abuse. 

"This letter, which comes two months after your plea, tells me you have not yet owned what you did. You still think that somehow you are right, that you are a doctor, that you are entitled, that you don't have to listen and that you did treatment. I wouldn't send my dogs to you sir," she said, according to the Associated Press (h/t the New York Times).

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis previously called Nassar possibly "the most prolific serial child sex abuser in history, a selfish child molester who spared no one," per CNN's Dianne Gallagher.

Several high-profile gymnasts have said Nassar sexually abused them, including McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber, all of whom are Olympic gold medalists.

Wieber described the toll Nassar's abuse took on her, according to ESPN.com's John Barr:

"I thought that training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing that I would ever have to do. But in fact, the hardest thing I've ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar.

"It has caused me to feel shame and confusion. I have spent months trying to think back on my experience and wonder how I didn't even know this was happening to me and how I became so brainwashed by Larry and everyone at USA Gymnastics. Both of whom I thought were supposed to be on my side."

Raisman also spoke and often addressed Nassar directly during her statement, at one point telling him, "Adult after adult ... protected you. How do you sleep at night? ... You are the person they had 'take the lead on athlete care.' ... I cringe to think that your influence remains in the policies that are supposed to keep athletes safe."

Nassar began working as an athletic trainer for USAG in 1986 and was elevated to national medical coordinator in 1996, which was a role he held until 2014.

The Farmington Hills, Michigan, native also served as a professor and physician at Michigan State following his graduation from the university in 1993.

Nassar was allowed to continue seeing patients at MSU for almost 19 months in 2014 and 2015 while under investigation for sexual assault, per ESPN.com's Dan Murphy.

On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that it sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State "regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State." 

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