Last week disgraced doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young athletes. Before the sentencing, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina set aside seven days of victim testimony. Over a hundred women shared their stories. Judge Aquilina’s sentence seemed like the end of a long horror story, but in fact it was just another chapter.
Now, Nassar is facing a new sentencing hearing for similar charges in a different county, according to Buzzfeed. In addition to the charges he’s already been prosecuted for, Nassar pled guilty to three counts of criminal sexual misconduct in Eaton County, Michigan in November 2017. The new sentencing hearing began Wednesday morning, and is going to last several more days as 65 women share their impact statements. Per Nassar’s plea agreement, victims impacted by the doctor are allowed to speak in court, even if the charges do not pertain to the case.
After last week’s sentencing, the entire USA Gymnastics team board resigned following the U.S. Olympic Committee's request. President of Michigan State Lou Anna Simon and the school’s athletic director Mark Hollis have also resigned. The NCAA is currently investigating Michigan State for its complicity in Nassar’s decades of abuse. The first allegation on record against Nassar is from 1997.
At the time of the first hearing, reports estimated that there were upwards of 130 to 150 victims. Now, Judge Janice Cunningham said 256 women and girls have come forward either publicly or anonymously.
During the first hearing, Olympic medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Jordyn Wieber shared their testimonies. These athletes and many others have not only blamed Nassar, but attacked USA Gymnastics and Michigan State for not preventing the years of abuse.
In the wake of the Nassar news, Congress passed new legislation aimed at protecting young athletes. It prevents those under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult, and it requires officials to report any allegations to police in 24 hours.