Larry Nassar former United States Gymnastics doctor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on Thursday for child pornography , sexually assaulting minors.
The 54-year-old Nassar was accused of sexually assaulting more than 100 young girls in his care, including members of the gold-medal winning US Olympic team was charges, pleaded guilty in July to three counts of possessing child pornography.
He was given the maximum 20 years in prison on each count by US District Judge Janet Neff at a federal court hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Nassar is being sued in federal civil court by more than 140 women and girls who allege abuse. USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State and Twistars are also named as defendants in the lawsuits. The cases had been in mediation, which reportedly failed earlier this week, meaning those cases will now go to court.
Former USA Gymnastics doctor worked at Michigan State University in addition to USA Gymnastics was found to be in possession of more than 37,000 graphic videos and images of child pornography on his computer hard drives.
The Indianapolis-based group that trains Olympians. He admits he molested girls with his hands when they sought treatment for hip and back pain.
US district judge Janet Neff followed the government’s recommendation in the case, saying Larry Nassar “should never again have access to children.”
Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among the members of the USA Gymnastics team who have said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar.
After the sentence was handed down, one of Nassar’s defense attorneys told reporters that his client was “devastated, obviously.” Another member of his defense team told the Detroit News that he planned to appeal, saying he had “nothing to lose.”
More than 100 women and girls say that Nassar abused them, by “digitally penetrating them during medical appointments,” the News reports.
Her teammate, Raisman, released a statement on the sports website The Players’ Tribune and expressed hope that Nassar’s conviction would lead to changes.
“We must look at the organizations that protected Nassar for years and years: USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic committee and Michigan State University,” Raisman said.
“Until we understand the flaws in their systems, we can’t be sure something like this won’t happen again.”
Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas say Nassar is a “monster” who “left scars on my psyche that may never go away,” Maroney said in a letter to Neff.
“Dr. Nassar was not a doctor, he in fact is, was, and forever shall be, a child molester, and a monster of a human being,” Maroney wrote.
“He abused my trust, abused my body and left scars on my psyche that may never heal,” she said.
“Larry Nassar deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison,” she added.
According to a timeline from the Lansing State Journal and the IndyStar,Nassar first started working with USA Gymnastics as a trainer in 1986
. After completing his medical residency, he was appointed national medical director for the sport’s governing body in 1996 and attended the Olympics in Atlanta with the team that year. He became a team physician and assistant professor at Michigan State University in 1997, where he worked until he was fired in September 2016. The firing came a few weeks after a former gymnast filed a criminal complaint against Nassar with the university’s police.
Nassar said in court he was ashamed of his actions and had lost everything.
“You go back and you wonder how I got down this path to begin with,” the Journal quoted him as telling the judge.
“I’m going to take every day of your sentence to try to better myself.”
He has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault in two other cases in Michigan, admitting that he abused young athletes under the guise of offering medical treatment.
He could face life in prison when he is sentenced on those charges next month.
His case was part of a wide-ranging scandal which forced the resignation of USA Gymnastics chief Steve Penny in March.