By SAMANTHA HART
(TEANECK) – Former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has recently been charged and tried for sexually assaulting his patients. The trial began last week, and included more than 150 women and girls testifying against Nassar. On Jan. 24, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.
“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar, according to CNN.
Nassar has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in Ingham County, Michigan. He has also admitted to sexually assaulting and abusing young girls while they were under the impression that they would be receiving medical treatment, according to CNN.
There have been more than 150 young women who have stepped forward accusing Nassar of sexual misconduct while he was supposedly treating them for their injuries or pain. Nassar has been abusing his power as a trusted doctor for more than two decades, with one victim claiming Nassar’s sexual abuse towards her began in 1997.
Fifteen-year-old gymnast and former victim Emma Ann Miller testified in court on Jan. 22 that Nassar began abusing her when she was just 10 years old. She first started seeing Nassar monthly at the Michigan State University Sports Medicine office for back treatments, according to CNN.
“I have never wanted to hate someone in my life, but my hate towards you is uncontrollable,” Miller admitted during her testimony in court. Miller went on to say how she will most likely be the last woman he will ever touch, other than women with guns and tasers. Miller also divulged that her last treatment with Nassar was in Aug. 2016, just one week before he was released from MSU.
Miller told the court on Jan. 22 that her mother still receives bills from Michigan State University’s Sport Medicine for her so-called treatments, despite those appointments being those in which she was sexually assaulted, according to Times magazine.
Judge Aquilina is allowing all of the victim- survivors to tell their story in court, regardless of length. Aquilina showed her passionate disgust in Nassar’s attempt to end the victim testimony in court, informing him that his plea wasn’t even worth the paper that it was written on.
“I would allow what he did to be done to him,” Aquilina said after hearing scores of victims’ survivor stories, according to a CNN video of the courtroom.
The court let it be known that Nassar was struggling with mental issues despite his refusing to admit it. Judge Aquilina even went so far as to o er Nassar the possibility of admitting he needed help that would in turn be paid for with taxpayer dollars, but instead Nassar decided to remain silent.
Because of Nassar’s former status as the USA Gymnastics team doctor, he has “treated” several well-known Olympic gold medalists. Athletes such as Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas all stepped forward and finally told their stories.
During her testimony, Aly Raisman looked Nassar right in the eye and confronted him.
“Larry, you do now realize that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing,” Raisman said, according to CNN.
Dr. Nassar was also close friends with John Geddert, the now-suspended USA Gymnastics coach for the gold-medal winning team in London in 2012.
Nassar and Geddert have been friends for more than 20 years. The two first worked together at Geddert’s Great Lakes Gymnastics club and then again at Twistars USA Gymnastics Club in 1996, right around the same time that the first assault occurred, according to ESPN.
Geddert has temporarily been suspended from his position until further notice while the sexual assault case is still under investigation.
Along with Geddert, several figures at Michigan State University and USA Olympics have been questioned since the sexual assault stories have come to light.
Many high-ranking people, such as Mark Hollis, the MSU Athletic Director, have stepped down from their positions at the University or at Team USA Gymnastics, according to NBC News.
According to The New York Times, reports of Nassar’s sexual abuse began as early as the summer of 2015. But with the recent movement of empowerment and encouragement, women continued to come forward to confront Nassar’s abuse and ultimately resulted in his sentencing to life in prison.