Judge to man who sexually assaulted 156 women and girls: “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”
More than 150 young women have spoken in a Michigan courtroom, describing sexual abuse by a former renowned sports doctor. Wednesday, the judge delivered her sentence for Larry Nassar.
Following day after day of wrenching victim impact statements, it was Nassar’s chance to speak.
“Your words these past days have shaken me to my core,” Nassar said. “An acceptable apology is impossible to convey. I will carry your words for the rest of my days.”
The former sports doctor’s plea deal called for a minimum of 25-40 years behind bars for sexual assault. But Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, infuriated by a letter from Nassar in which he insisted he was a good doctor, took it much further.
“Sir, I’m giving you 175 years,” the judge said. “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”
Some of Nassar’s accusers spoke after the sentencing.
“We have persisted to speak our truth and it just means so much to know people are finally listening,” Amanda Thomashow said.
Nassar admitted to molesting seven women under the camouflage of medical treatments, including Rachael Denhollander, whose complaint triggered Nassar’s downfall.
“Larry sought out and took pleasure in little girls being sexually injured and violated because he liked it,” Denhollander said.
In all, 156 women, calling themselves an army, described Nassar’s abuse, their anger at his employers and their long struggles to recover.
Through tears, Emily Morales demanded an apology.
Emily Morales: I also want to hear you regret all the hurting you caused.
Larry Nassar: I’m sorry.
Emily Morales: Thank you.
On top of 60 years he’s serving for child pornography, the sexual assault sentence makes certain Nassar will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The judge’s sentence amounts to 40-175 years in prison.
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