Since January 16th, former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been on trial for sexually assaulting more than 150 women. And today, January 24th, the week-long trial in Lansing, Michigan ended with Nassar sentenced to serve life in prison.
Nassar will serve 40 to 175 years in prison. During the trial 156 women gave accounts of their abuse at the hands of Nassar, who was previously sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography. In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault. Allegations of sexual abuse were first brought against Nassar in 2016, a year after he resigned from his position with USA Gymnastics.
Olympic medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles are among the women who say Nassar assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who has advocated for Nassar’s victims throughout the trial, delivered Nassar’s sentencee.
Nassar was also given the opportunity to address his victims in court before he was sentenced.
Nassar worked as a team doctor not only for the USA Gymnastics team but also for Michigan State University. Many of Nassar’s victims said that they had reported Nassar’s abuse to campus officials, who did nothing. Although Nassar faced a Title IX investigation in 2014 due to reports of sexual abuse, the university allowed him to work while under investigation and eventually cleared him. In addition to Nassar’s prison sentence, the NCAA will investigate MSU’s role in covering up Nassar’s abuse.
USA Gymnastics terminated its relationship with the Olympic training facility where Nassar worked, Karolyi Ranch, in light of Nassar’s abuse.
Nassar’s sentencing is a step forward in the fight against sexual crimes. But in order for behavior like Nassar’s to become a thing of the past, we need to believe survivors of sexual abuse. We’re glad that Nassar was brought to justice, and we hope his victims and all victims of sexual assault get the closure they deserve.