Summary: The former Olympic gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing numerous athletes during his career.
The doctor, who molested over two hundred young women and girls throughout his 20-year-career, offered a monotone apology this week. In response, the Michigan judge presiding over his trial gave him 40 to 125 more years in prison. He was already sentenced previously for molesting seven girls at a local gym and possessing child pornography.
NBC News said that on Monday, Judge Janice Cunningham revealed that Nassar had said during his pre-sentencing interview that he had never molested the girls as he was charged. Nassar was the official team doctor for USA Gymnastics as well as a doctor for Michigan State University. During his tenure in those positions, he allegedly molested young athletes during physical exams.
In January, Nassar was found guilty of sexual abuse, and on Monday, he offered an apology that Judge Cunningham found insincere.
“I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact that you have had on the victims, families and friends,” Cunningham said. “Clearly you are in denial, you don’t get it, and I do not believe there is a likelihood you could be reformed.”
It appears that Nassar’s criminal trial may be over, but this shocking sexual abuse sports scandal has prompted investigations into the U.S. Olympics Committee, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University.
“I am grateful the criminal proceedings are finished,” said gymnast Rachael Denhollander to NBC News. “I am greatly disappointed that we have finished the criminal proceedings without seeing any responsibility taken by the institutions that let this happen.”
Congress has issued a new law in response to the tragedy that will require all those in power in amateur sports organizations to immediately report sexual abuse claims to law enforcement upon notification. Those who do not risk one year in prison.
During Nassar’s trial, the judge forced the doctor to hear testimony from his numerous victims, which included Olympians such as Aly Raisman. The victims described how Nassar performed “exams” on them without gloves and how some had reported the abuse but nothing was done for years. That detail particularly disgusted Judge Cunningham who was vocal about her disdain for Nassar during the trial.
“It is unfathomable to think about the number of victims that would have been spared had authorities acted upon the complaints they received years ago,” Cunningham said.
Nassar’s sentencing on Monday was in addition to the 40 to 175 years he was given for sexually abusing gymnasts at Twisters Gym. He was also given 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
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