A “death warrant” was signed, at least that is what a judge claimed whilst addressing USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. MSN News reports that those victimized by the once trusted medical expert were weeping in the courtroom as the man who so many trusted was “sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts.”
As child abuse cases pepper our daily news feeds like foul odors, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was not timid about throwing the book at Nassar after 160 people spoke about the horrible deeds which were done to them.
It is said that those “victims cried, applauded, and embraced” as the 54-year-old offender was taken out of the courtroom. Rachael Denhollander, the first person to bring the man’s sins to light, even “shared a hug with Angela Povilaitis,” the case’s lead prosecutor.
Nassar was an Olympic doctor, one who was supposed to care for those who work tirelessly to represent the U.S. on the world stage. As his sentence was given, he said, “I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.” In this instance, it seems that the guilty party may have fully felt the pain of what he did, but it was far too late for an apology to help very much.
If this was the case, the judge did not believe that the man was really sorry, only sorry that he was busted. The judge read a statement from the fondling physician which claimed that he was a good doctor who was pushed into pleading guilty.
Nassar, who is already serving 60 years on kiddie porn charges, said that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as he suggested that lies were being crafted against him by those seeking monetary gains. This spin on the story did not endear him any in the eyes of the court.
“Would you like to withdraw your plea?” Aquilina asked as she tossed his letter “in disgust.”
“No, your honor,” Larry Nassar sheepishly replied.
The judge was not going to let him mar the recovery of those who he hurt with any half-admissions, however. “Because you are guilty, aren’t you? Are you guilty, sir?” she asked.
After a silence, Nassar declared, “I have said my plea, exactly.”
“At this particular moment in history, this sentence and hearing will be viewed as a turning point in how our community, our state, our nation, our culture looks at sexual abuse,” opined Povilaitis. She said the blame went right where it should have.
The worst part about this is that it has caused many to question the entire institution and system that is the Olympic games. “Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney have gone public in recent months” have said that they were abused while under the care of the doctor. Many are left wonder why it took so long for those hurt to say anything.
While that may never be known, what is firmly established is the fact that Larry Nassar won’t offending anyone again. As the families pick up the pieces, that may be more comforting than any other truth that we have learned in this case.