The ex-physician of the Federation of Gymnastics of the United States abused more than 160 athletes over three decades.
Former American Gymnastics Federation physician Lawrence “Larry” Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday for sexual abuse against more than 160 athletes , many of them minors, along at least three decades.
“I just signed your death sentence … You do not have the right to walk out of a prison again,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told him.
Nassar, 54, was for almost three decades linked to the team of the American Federation of Gymnastics, where he served as a doctor to the main stars of the team, as the winner of four Olympic gold medals, Simon Biles; the American Olympic medalist in London 2012, McKayla Maroney ; and Jessica Howard, winner three times in rhythmic gymnastics.
Although most of the victims were gymnasts, there were also dancers, footballers, swimmers and softball players like Tiffany Thomas Lopez .
“My parents, who had my best interest at heart, will always have to live with the fact that they continually took their daughter to a sexual predator, and they were in the room while he assaulted me,” says Marie Anderson, in one of the testimonies collected by The New York Times .
During the trial, Nassar apologized for “the pain, trauma and emotional destruction” and tried to address some of the complaining athletes in the room, but the judge caught his attention.
“There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how much I regret what has happened,” Nassar said.
In 2015, the official gymnastics committee fired Nassar for an investigation that the FBI started against him for child abuse.
Nassar pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of sexual assault in the first degree in Ingham County, Michigan, and three additional charges in Eaton County, where he will be sentenced next week, according to the agency, Reuters .
In December of last year, Nassar had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
The scandal following the prison and the accusations against Nassar motivated the resignation on Monday of several directors of the American Gymnastics Federation itself and cost the position to its president Steve Penny in November.
The resignation of several officials became inevitable after the star Raisman wondered how it was possible that Nassar could abuse athletes for decades without the Federation doing anything to prevent it.