After an extraordinary seven-day hearing in a Lansing, Michigan courtroom it was announced that Dr. Larry Nassar, disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Throughout the hearing, 156 women and girls testified that Nassar sexually abused them. For the victims and those who shared their stories, it has truly been an exceptional display of unifying power and bravery, and now, Nassar will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
156 women, girls, mothers, sisters, daughters, athletes, Olympians, all say they were abused by one man. His name is Lawrence G. Nassar, and he worked as a doctor for Team USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. It was in this position that he sexually abused young women and girls during medical examinations for over two decades.
The first allegations of this trial were reported in September 2016 when two former gymnasts accused Dr. Nassar of sexual misconduct. In February 2017, another three former gymnasts with similar stories, Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard and Jamie Dantzscher, gave an interview with 60 Minutes to speak out against Nassar. Since then, over 150 people, including Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, were also inspired to share their experience with Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.
Today, January 24th, 2018, Nassar plead guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct charges. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to 40 to 175 years in prison, adding, “I just signed your death warrant.”
Who is Larry Nassar?
Nassar, 54, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985. A year later, he joined the medical staff of the US national gymnastics team as a licensed osteopathic physician. In 1997, he also began working as a team physician at Michigan State University.
Nassar was a well-respected figure in the sports medicine field and was trusted with treating many top-level US gymnasts. He worked for the US gymnastics team in four Olympic Games before he was fired from the team in 2015 after athletes reported concerns of sexual misconduct.
He continued working with Michigan State University until September 2016 when the first allegations of his sexual abuse were reported. Nassar was subsequently reassigned from his clinical and teaching duties at the University and was fired later that month.