Former American Gymnastics Team Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, 54 years old, was sentenced by Judge Rosemary Aquilina to 40 to 175 years behind bars due to sexual assault charges. The minimum term he faced before was of 25 years. Judge Aquilina proudly told the molester that it was an honor to sentence him adding:
“I just signed your death warrant.”
Last week, Dr. Nassar presented a letter to the court, in which he addressed the treatment given to another case, involving child pornography, and blamed the accusers for money and attention seeking. The letter read by the judge before sentencing the former team doctor, let the audience occupying the gallery shocked, claiming that not even hell had the fury of a “woman scorned.”
During November, Dr. Nassar pleaded guilty to a few cases, only about ten of the 156 that gave statements in Michigan State, Ingham County.
A cold, manipulative man makes his way between little girls
Dr. Nassar was accused of sexually molesting girls, including six-year-old ones, excusing himself on the pretext that he was providing them medical treatment. Among the 156 people that declared against the doctor, five Olympic gold medalists from the USA gymnastics team can be found. Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Abby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and Simone Biles joined many other gymnasts during the confrontation.
Gymnast Maroney signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of a settlement that forbid her to speak about the abuse. USA Gymnastics threatened to fine her for more than $100.000 in this contract, but many celebrities offered to pay for her to make a statement about the issue and help her deliver her opinion and experience to the courtroom. The organization claimed they would not sue her.
One of the first women that made public accusations against the former team Doctor, Rachel Denhollander was the last one to speak at the sentencing. She cataloged Nassar as the most dangerous type of abuser, claiming that he coldly analyzed how to appear a fit and caring person, assuring himself the stream of kids he manipulated to assault.
The judge thanked Ms. Denhollander for bravely standing up and encouraging other victims to stand up in the courtroom as well. Denhollander devastated, remembers how every girl that was sitting in that courtroom loved the doctor back then. In her speech she declares:
“At 15, I believed that adults at MSU [Michigan State University] surrounding Larry would do the right thing if they’re aware of what he’s doing. And I was terribly wrong… It has been eighteen months and I’m still asking the same questions, hoping that the little girls that come after me will have adults that they can trust.”
Workplace investigation and more victim ignored allegations
The Chairman and many board members of the governing body for gymnastics in the USA gymnastics resigned this week, and the organization ended its relationship with the Texas ranch training center, Karolyi Ranch, the place where some of the sexual abuses took place.
The N.C.A.A. formally opened an investigation on Tuesday with the purpose of analyzing the university’s behavior and management of the situation during the events. The resignation of the president of Michigan State University was called for since Dr. Nassar treated the athletes from the faculty for decades. Some of the members of the US gymnastics national team were also treated there. Former gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages, was accused of covering up allegations against Nassar.
As the N.C.A.A. legally requires protecting the safety, well-being, and health of athletes, it has requested to the Michigan State University any information about potential rules violation. Some of the athletes that declared being abused by Dr. Nasar at the MSU include cross country and softball team members.
The investigation brought up a 2014 pair of reports sent to the police of Michigan State University, addressing abuse by Dr. Nassar. The reports never received a response.
Justice requires more than I can do
Dr. Nassar read an apology to all the girls he managed to abuse, claiming that the girl’s words had an emotional impact on him, a significant one and adds that he knows he can’t compare the pain he’s facing with the emotional destruction that all of them had and have to face. He finished his short speech saying that his apology won’t be enough and that the statements will stick with him until the rest of his days.
Judge Aquilina didn’t hesitate to read out loud Nassar’s contradictive letter written to the court, in which he denigrated women and underestimated their statements, claiming he was forced to admit some sexual abuse allegations to get a plea deal.
Dr. Nassar hesitated when judge Aquilina asked him if he was guilty or not, trying to elucidate the conflicting opinions between the letter and the apology. Finally, he pleaded guilty.
Judge Aquilina told Dr. Nassar:
“You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges, and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable.”
She added that Nassar still didn’t accept what he had done and that her job wouldn’t be enough regarding justice for this case.
Source: The New York Times