Doctor Larry Nassar Likely Assaulted 160 Young Women Over Three Decades
It is positively jaw-dropping what you can get away with by just wearing a lab coat
Michigan State University sports physician Larry Nassar, who prosecutors believe sexually molested as many as 160 young athletes while supposedly performing physical therapy, was sentenced this week to about 175 years in prison.
"I just signed your death warrant," Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar in Ingham County Circuit Court.
The case made world headlines as the result of an Indianapolis Star investigation, which revealed that Nassar, age 54, was about to accept a plea arrangement last year on 7 counts of Criminal Sexual Misconduct involving more than 160 girls and young women.
Here is an overview of the USA Gymnastics scandal thus far:
156 women testified during the trial.
Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault, was the last of 156 women in court to deliver devastating testimony regarding the pain and abuse she suffered at the hands of the doctor she trusted. She told the court that, "Larry groomed me for the purpose of exploiting me for his own sexual gain.”
He sexually abused her and her teammates for years. But everybody believed the doctor instead
Indianapolis Star reporter Tim Evans interviewed Nassar in September 2016:
"I saw the smooth Nassar, a master manipulator who had already convinced police and university officials that earlier complaints were misunderstandings. He then went right on molesting more girls, He came off as arrogant," Evans said. "He tried to convince me the 'misunderstanding' was because of the girls' ignorance of his sophisticated medical procedures."
Nassar was an osteopathic medicine specialist, meaning the caregiver primarily uses his hands and not drugs, to alleviate muscle and joint pain and stiffness, with techniques that include stretching, pressure and resistance.
But as dozens of young women testified, he would fondle their breasts and penetrate them vaginally and rectally with his hands, and would not use gloves. He used his authority as a physician to convince them what he was doing was medically appropriate.
As a result of the appalling case, three USA Gymnastics executives - Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley - have already resigned, as the women's testimony came to light. And Michigan State University President LouAnna Simon resigned yesterday.
"I can never say enough, that I am so sorry that a trusted, physician was really such an evil, evil person, who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment," Simon said.
The first known victim testified that her molestations started in 1994. The women say more than a dozen Michigan State officials were advised over the years of Nassar's abuse, as far back as 1997. The complaints were not taken seriously. More than 150 lawsuits are pending, Michigan State and USA Gymnastics officials have asked for the suits to be dismissed.
According to the judge, sexual predator Nassar will serve a 60-year federal prison sentence on child pornography charges before facing his state sentence of up to 175 years,