Larry Nassar has just had his prison sentence considerably increased
54-year-old Larry Nassar, the former US gymnastics team doctor, has previously been found guilty of numerous counts of sexual assault against hundreds of young women. Over the course of two hearings, over 200 victims have given their statements in court, with 156 speaking in Ingham County and 48 more in Eaton County, Michigan.
After Nassar pleaded guilty to many of these charges, which included the molestation of young women under the guise of medical treatment, witnesses applauded the judge's verdict when he was sentenced to 175 years for criminal sexual misconduct, as well as 60 years for the possession of child pornography.
One victim, Rachael Denhollander, was the first to publicly accuse him of misconduct back in 2016. "How much is a little girl worth?" Denhollander asked the court. "I am asking you to tell these little girls, tell the young women, tell the watching world, that they are worth everything."
Emotions have been running high after countless women reported the abuse they suffered at the hands of Nassar, with their loved ones in attendance to support them. After hearing two of his daughters deliver statements about what the former team doctor had done to them, he asked the judge for "five minutes alone in a locked room with this demon", which was obviously declined. Overwhelmed by his anger, he charged at the defendant and had to be restrained by officers.
Now, a further sentencing has taken place, which added on even more years to the time Nassar will spend in jail. On Monday morning the judge charged him with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, as reported by CNN. This charge carries a minimum of 40 years and a maximum of 125, making his eventual sentence potentially as high as 360 years.
While delivering his sentence, Judge Janice Cunningham said:
"I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact that you'd had on the victims, family and friends. You are in denial. You don't get it"
Before his sentencing, Nassar said the victim statements had impacted him to his "innermost core", and "with that being said, I understand now that it pales in comparison to the pain, trauma and emotions that you all are feeling". Although, with the sheer magnitude of charges leveled against him in conjunction with the cruelty of the individual cases, there doesn't appear to be much he can say.
However, it's not just Nassar that is being accused, as various institutions including Michigan State University have been said to have been negligent in response to various claims in the past. The Lansing State Journal reported last June that between 1997 and 2015, seven people raised their concerns to authority figures. Police investigated twice but never charged him.
"It should be easier than that. It has to be easier than that. And it can be," Assistant Attorney General Angela Povaitis said. "We must all start by believing victims when they tell".