U.S. Olympian sports physician sentenced up to 175 years

Elizabeth Alexander, Trending Editor

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For nearly a week straight, women spoke up about the abuse they endured, a man who was supposed to be helping them.

Larry Nassar, a world-renowned U.S. Olympic physician, sat through a week’s worth of testimonies from over 150 women, accusing him of sexual harassment and abuse. He was also accused of possessing child pornography. While Nassar had pleaded guilty, he later wrote a letter stating he had been “manipulated” into pleading guilty and that all the women accusing him were lying.

“I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina felt little sympathy for Nassar and was seen throwing his letter to the side in court. She then sentenced Nassar 40-175 years in prison.

“[The letter] tells me you still don’t get it,” Aquilina said according to CNN. “I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir.”

The majority of the women accusing Nassar, according to CNN, said that the first initial times they spoke up about his abuse, their cries went unheard and they were forced to suffer in silence. These are the same women that, because of Nassar’s abuse, struggle with anxiety, depression and histories of self-harm.

“Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure,” gymnast Amanda Thomashow, according to CNN, said in court.

Thomashow was one of the many woman who spoke out against Nassar and his abuse. This is the kind of reaction too many victims of sexual assault receive; they are often told they misunderstand, were “asking for it,” or need to take assault as a compliment.

According to CNN, the U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun issued a statement, including an apology for not recognizing and stopping Nassar’s abuse in the first place. Because of this case, USA Gymnastics has cut ties with the training facility that Nassar worked for, the Karolyi Ranch.

“We are sorry for the pain caused by this terrible man, and sorry that you weren’t afforded a safe opportunity to pursue your sports dreams,” Blackmun said in the statement.

 

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U.S. Olympian sports physician sentenced up to 175 years