Larry Nassar: A story of an abuser who was sentenced up to 175 years in jail

Larry Nassar, the former USA gymnastics team doctor was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting hundreds of young athletes while “giving them medical treatment.”

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, made her final decision after reading his final statement and hearing testimonies from more than 150 victims who confronted Nassar on court as they described the abuse.

“It is my privilege – on counts 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 18 and 24 – to sentence you to 40 years. I’m going to look at my cheat sheet. Forty years, just so you know and you can count it off your calendar, is 480 months. The tail end, because I need to send a message to the parole board in the event somehow God is gracious and I know he is — and you survive the 60 years in federal court first and then you start on my 40 years. You’ve gone off the page here as to what I’m doing. My page only goes to 100 years. Sir, I’m giving you 175 years, which is 2100 months. I’ve just signed your death warrant.” Said, Judge Aquilina.

Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis embraces other members of the prosecution team after the sentence was announced on Wednesday.

Before that, Nassar was given the chance to address the court and he apologized for what he did.

‘Your words these past several days, your words, have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has shaken me to my core,’ said Nassar through the tears. ‘I also realize what I’m feeling pales in comparison.’ He then added ‘I will carry you words with me for the rest of my days.’

Long week: Prosecuting attorney Povilaitis wipes a tear from her eye while listening to Denhollander speak in court on Wednesday.


Added later by the judge, she said that this was her honor to sentence him to that long period in prison, because “Sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. Anywhere you walk, destruction would occur to those most vulnerable.”

Rosemarie Aquilina’s final decision came seven days of hearing victims’ statements from 163 people; the victims included some famous gymnasts like Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber.

One of the most heartbreaking statements was given by a victim’s parent, Donna Markham, her daughter Chelsea was abused by Nassar when she was only 10. Later in 2009, Chelsea committed suicide at the age of 23. “I wanted [Nassar] to hear what happened to my daughter … the fact that he started the process of her self-destruction.” said Donna.

Accusations against Nassar started back in 1997 and both the authorities at USA Gymnastics ans Michigan State University turned a blind eye to the case. Now that the abuser is down, attention shifts to the authorities who ignored the case for almost 21 years as The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opened an investigation into how Michigan State University handled the case.