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Disgraced Team USA doctor jailed for 175 years

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Emily Reynolds
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Ex-Team USA doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced for his abuse of hundreds of young women and girls.

Larry Nassar, the ex-USA Olympic gymnastics team doctor, has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years for his abuse of nearly 160 women and girls. 

He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of assault. He was recently sentenced for 60 years for a separate charge of possession of child abuse images, and pleaded guilty in November last year to seven charges of sexual assault. 

“As much as it was my honour and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honour and privilege to sentence you,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar before sentencing him. “Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again.”

“You have not owned yet what you did. I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir. I’ve just signed your death warrant”.

Nassar had previously written to Aquilina claiming that his victims had “manipulated” him into admitting guilt and that claims were “fabricated”. 

“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,” he wrote. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Hundreds of women gave evidence at the trial, including several Olympians. Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles had previously revealed in a #MeToo post on Twitter that she had also been abused by Nassar. 

“For too long I’ve asked myself ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I now know the answer to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics and others,” she wrote. 

Statements from victims were lengthy and moving.

“I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting,” McKayla Maroney, gymnast and two-time Olympic medalist said. Jordyn Wieber, another Olympic medalist gymnast, said she’d thought training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing she’d ever have to do: “but, in fact, the hardest thing I would ever have to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar.” 

“The army you chose in the late ’90s to silence me, to dismiss me and my attempt at speaking the truth, will not prevail over the army you created when violating us,” said Tiffany Thomas Lopez, softball player.

And Aly Raisman, six-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast, said “Abusers, your time is up.”

“Let this sentence strike fear in anyone who thinks it is O.K. to hurt another person. The survivors are here, standing tall, and we are not going anywhere.”

Raisman has subsequently responded to the sentencing.

“Thankyou fellow survivors for your courage, strength and leadership. You have had an overwhelming impact on me and I am proud to stand with you all,” she wrote. “Today was an important victory, but there is still work to be done.”

Image: Rex Features