Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who has spent nearly an entire week listening to his victims tell their gut-wrenching stories of abuse at his hands, has finally received word on his fate.
Chances are he will live out the rest of his days in a prison after Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told him “I just signed your death warrant.” The abuse sentence comes on top of 60 years he was already facing on child pornography charges.
The nation has been gripped with the case in recent days, as more and more victims came forward to share their harrowing stories of abuse. Nassar violated more than 156 victims, including some of the highest profile gymnasts in American history.
Gabbie Douglas was one of them. “I am not afraid to tell my story anymore. I too, am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she said. “For too long I have asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I know the answers to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar.”
He abused girls as young as 6 years old. Gymnast Shawn Johnson said she was disgusted by the accusations, and went so far to say that she wouldn’t allow her own children to participate in gymnastics because of how badly the system failed these young women.
Nassar complained early on that it was too hard to listen to all the stories from the women he abused, only adding the chorus of people cheering on a harsh sentence.
“There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” Nassar said. “Your words these past several days, your words, your words, have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core. I also recognize that what I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling.”
That’s quite a far cry from what he wrote just two months ago, when he informed the judge that he’s a good doctor who is being treated unfairly.
In addition to the disgraced doctor, more are calling for an investigation into the complicity or negligence when it comes to the USA gymnastics organization as a whole and MSU. “There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was silence. Justice requires more than what I can do on the bench,” the judge added.
Nassar violated the young women with ungloved hands, and often groomed them by pretending to be their friend. Next week he faces even more charges for additional sexual offenses.