Jan. 25, 2019 –
Gymnastics Doctor Sentenced Up to 175 Years for Abusing Female Gymnasts
Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, was sentenced to up to 40-175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts.
Nassar, 54, served as the gymnastics program physician and at Michigan State University in addition to private clubs.
Angela Povilaitis, Michigan assistant attorney general in final sentencing statements said Nassar’s victims and his history of abuse spanned more than 25 years, even before he was a doctor, and included victims from more than a dozen different sports.
“During the last seven days, more than 150 courageous women have shared their deeply personal experiences and how Larry Nassar’s despicable crimes impacted their lives,” said new USA Gymnastics president and CEO Kerry Perry. “I am profoundly saddened that a single woman, a single girl, a single athlete was hurt. USA Gymnastics applauds Judge Rosemarie Aquilina for handing Nassar the maxium sentence up to 175 years, in an effort to bring justice to those he abused and punish him for his horrific behavior.”
More than 150 women and girls accused Nassar of sexual abuse. The sentence is part of a plea deal in which Nassar admitted to 10 sex assault charges in two Michigan counties. He had already previously been sentenced to a 60-year sentence in federal prison for child pornography crimes to which he pleaded guilty last year.
Judge Aquilina issued her sentence saying, “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”
“The powerful voices and strength of these survivors have left a lasting impression on all of us. Every day, their stories will impact my decisions as president and CEO” Perry said. “As stated on my first day on Dec. 1, 2017, I will not waiver on my commitment to focus each and every day on our organization’s highest priority – the safety, health and well-being of our athletes. We will create a culture that empowers and supports them. Our commitment is uncompromising, and it is my hope that everything we do going forward makes this very clear.”Shortly after Nassar’s sentencing U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun, in an open letter to Team USA, said revelations in the Nassar case were “worse than our own worst fears,” Blackmun called for the resignation of all remaining USA Gymnastics board members, saying “a full turnover of leadership” is necessary.
Prior to sentencing USA Gymnastics announced that three board members had resigned. The former chief executive officer resigned last March, replaced by Perry.
USA Gymnastics also cut ties with Karolyi Ranch, a place where elite gymnasts trained, and the site where Nassar allegedly molested gymnasts.
“It has been my intent to terminate this agreement since I began as president and CEO in December,” Perry said. “We are exploring alternative sites to host training activities and camps until a permanent location is determined.”
The USOC also announced it would hire an independent third party to investigate when complaints were first reported about Nassar and why no action was taken sooner. Results of that investigation will be made public according to the USOC statement.