Larry Nassar is going away for a long time.
On Thursday, the Michigan sports doctor was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography possession charges. This is the maximum sentence that prosecutors sought after 37,000 images of child porn were discovered on Nassar’s electronic devices. The unsavory and illegal footage was found last year amid a sexual assault investigation.
In fact, Nassar could serve even more time, as U.S. District Judge Janet Neff ordered that the federal punishment start after any sentences handed down in the state court’s sexual assault trial. As you surely know, the disgraced doctor pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges thanks to a deal. Nassar, who worked at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, is said to have molested more than 130 former patients — including Olympians Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman.
Nassar is slated to be sentenced for the molestation crimes in January. Sadly, Larry’s victims will not be given the opportunity to address their abuser as the judge denied Raisman and five others the opportunity to speak at the sentencing. Regardless, the Final Five captain has chosen to share the statement she planned to read in attempt to get closure from this traumatizing ordeal.
“Realizing that you are a victim of sexual abuse is a horrible feeling. Words cannot adequately capture the level of disgust I feel when I think about how this happened. Larry abused his power and the trust I and so many others placed in him, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly he manipulated and violated me.”
We can only imagine how harrowing this whole experience must’ve been for Larry’s victims. After noting that Nassar’s “actions are far-reaching,” Aly went on to share how the abuse she suffered affected the way she navigated through life. She continued:
“You were my doctor, and like most people, I was taught to trust doctors. I believed that you had my best interests at heart, and you made sure that message was reinforced, insisting your inappropriate touch was for medical reasons and that your care would help me get to the Olympic Games. You promised me that you would heal my injuries. You gave me gifts to make me think you were a good person, to make me believe you were my friend. You were nice so that we would trust you, to make it easier for you to take advantage of so many people, including me. But you lied to me. You lied to all of us.”
Understandably, the molestation instilled significant trust issues in the Dancing With The Stars alum. Raisman added:
“This mistrust and guilt has had a very real impact on both my physical and mental well-being. For example, when I started to realize what Larry had done to me, I avoided certain treatments that gymnasts rely upon, especially during intense Olympic training… Even today, I find myself scared that something bad will happen to me when I seek any medical treatment.”
The trauma Aly experienced has since manifested in severe anxiety issues and has deeply affected her relationships with loved ones. And while she has tried to take medication for her anxiety, it appears meds have only worsened the situation. The gold medalist explained:
“When I allowed myself to start thinking about what Larry had done, I was overcome by anxiety. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like someone was pushing on my chest and my throat was closing up. I couldn’t sleep well because I would have terrible nightmares. I never felt rested. The anxiety got so intense that I needed to see a doctor — a female — who prescribed anxiety medication so that I could function, and sleeping medication to help resolve my extreme exhaustion. After adjusting the dosages of some of the medication, I had a bad reaction and lost consciousness. I woke up to my terrified mom calling 911.”
The 23-year-old concluded her statement by requesting that the court impose the maximum sentence onto Larry as “every person we hold accountable for abuse makes a difference.” Hear! Hear!
Be sure to read Aly’s FULL statement in its entirety HERE.