A Michigan sports doctor has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts and other young women and girls, capping a remarkable seven-day hearing that brought more than 150 victims or their families to court, including Olympians.
They made riveting statements while confronting Larry Nassar in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom. He worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven females in the Lansing area between 1998 and 2015, but the hearing was open to all of his accusers.
His accusers said he would molest them while they were on a table seeking help for various injuries. Nassar also has a 60-year prison sentence for child pornography crimes.
The sentencing followed seven days of emotional victim testimony. Turning to look at his several victims sitting in the courtroom, Nassar said their words "have shaken me to my core."
Here is his full statement:
"It's just a short statement.
Your words these past several days -- their words, your words -- have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has 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.
There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. 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."
In a letter Nassar wrote to the court last week, he defended his medical practices and accused the women who said he sexually abused them of lying for media attention and financial reward.
"I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over," Nassar wrote in the letter. "The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read aloud parts of the letter in court during his sentencing.