The disturbing saga of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has finally come to a close on Wednesday.
The defamed doctor, 54, pled guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, and he has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in a Lansing, Michigan courtroom. "I just signed your death warrant," Aquilina said when delivering her sentence. Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.
Nassar’s sentencing comes after seven full days of survivor impact statements. A total of 169 impact statements were read, with 156 of them read but the survivors themselves. Mind you, court officials had originally expected only 88 survivors to speak in court; however, the bravery of those who did come forward embolded other survivors to speak out, so that number nearly doubled. Nassar was visibly shaken by his victim’s accounts. As he listen to them speak, Nassar could be seen wiping his tears with a tissue or burying his head in his hands.
“We, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing,” said Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. “The tables have turned, Larry. We are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere.”
Nassar is said to have been abusing athletes for two decades, protected by a network of enablers, as many of the victims pointed out. Among those enablers, is USA Gymnastics, who is expected to catch hell in the way of lawsuits. Also implicated in Nassar’s crimes is Michigan State University and the U.S. Olympic Committee, who are said to have turned a blind eye to his behavior.