Following days of “show no mercy” victim statements from dozens of female athletes who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the ex-Team USA doctor’s sentencing has finally happened. Nassar had complained that he didn’t have the mental ability to withstand these statements, which were relatively few, considering that he pleaded guilty to molesting over 150 women and girls during his time with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. On Wednesday, Nassar attempted an emotional appeal for leniency, and Judge Rosemarie Anguilina lambasted him as insincere.
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, it’s worth highlighting how Anguilina announced Nassar’s sentence — 40 to 175 years. With a hint of glee in her voice, Anguilina began tallying the sentence in open court:
“It is my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again … It is my privilege on counts one, two, five, eight, 10 and 18 and 24 … to sentence you to 40 years … that’s 480 months … I’m giving you 175 years, which is 2,100 months … I have just signed your death warrant.”
Prior to the sentencing, Nassar’s counsel expressed that he would defend him again, despite receiving death threats, because defendants have the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. However, he stated that “Larry’s soul is broken,” and then Nassar gave a short statement to his victims:
“Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has shaken me to my core. There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words for me for the rest of my days.”
Anguilina told Nassar that she hoped he meant what he said, but she wasn’t confident of that prospect. To prove her point, she read a letter from Nassar — in which he complained that he was being treated unfairly and even wrote “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” (which received audible gasps) — aloud.
Anguilina was disgusted, and she asked Nassar if he wished to withdraw his plea. He answered in the negative, and Anguilina described his acts as “despicable” and bashed him for claiming in his letter that his treatments were “medical,” not abuse. Anguilina then declared, “I wouldn’t send my dogs to you.”
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