Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced today (Jan. 24) to 40 to 175 years for molesting an untold number of young women over the course of two decades.
The sentencing judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, declared that Nassar, 54, did not deserve to live free ever again.
Here are the crucial words from her statement in a Michigan courtroom packed with victims and their supporters, as transcribed by CNN:
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: 40 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 2,100 months.
I’ve just signed your death warrant.
Nassar, already sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges, pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct stemming from his years at a national gymnastics organization. He was accused of using his position as the renowned doctor for America’s best young gymnasts to abuse and sexually assault his victims. Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, and Simone Biles are among those who say Nassar molested them. During the trial, 156 women read statements about how they were molested.
In a letter he wrote to the court two months after his guilty plea, Nassar had defended his medical practices and accused the women of lying for media attention and money, accusing Aquilina of turning his sentencing hearing into a “media circus” (paywall).
After Aquilina read parts of the letter aloud in during the final session, she addressed the victims, saying “You are no longer victims, you are survivors,” reminding them that “the whole world” is listening.
Michigan assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis called Nasser “possibly the most prolific child sexual abuser in history.”
The New York Times compiled the statements from the more than 160 women (paywall) who came forward with their accounts. Many include harrowing accounts of how Nassar violated them with ungloved hands while they were under his care for injuries.
“As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honor and privilege to sentence you,” Aquilina said. “Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again.”