Video shows courtroom bursting out laughing at Larry Nassar's claims that he was 'manipulated'
Yesterday, the former US gymnastics team doctor was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison after being found guilty of numerous sexual assaults against hundreds of young women.
54-year-old Larry Nassar, who abused the likes of Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney, was ridiculed and humiliated by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina throughout the hearing. As well as speaking curtly to the pedophile, she also took a no-nonsense attitude towards a pleading letter he had submitted for her review.
In fact, rather than just ignore his shameless defense, she read it out for the entire courtroom to hear - resulting in a roar of laughter from reporters, witnesses, and court officials.
"I was a good doctor because my treatments work and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised [me] and came back over and over and convinced friends and family to see me," Judge Aquilina read aloud in a flat and almost sarcastic tone.
The letter went on:
"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.
"The stories that are being fabricated to sensationalize this — then the AG [Attorney General] would only accept my plea if I said what I did was not medical and was for my own pleasure."
By this point, the court were appalled at Nassar's blatant victim-blaming, so they all found it hilarious when he tried to claim that he was the victim.
"They forced me to say that or they were going to trial and not accepting the plea — I wanted to plea no contest, but the AG refused that," read Aquilina. "I was so manipulated by the AG."
After her ruthless treatment of Nassar - who had already been previously sentenced to 60 years for child porn offenses - the judge became something of an internet sensation. In fact, one gif image of Aquilina nonchalantly discarding Nassar's plea letter has been retweeted 130,000 times in less than 24 hours, and many have since adopted it as a perfect visual metaphor for the 'Me Too' movement.
Her refusal to treat Nassar with any pity or respect shocked some people, and many claimed that she still had a duty to maintain some sort of courtroom civility. However, to those he abused, and to anyone else who has ever been a victim of abuse, the judge was a hero.
"You preyed on everyone’s vulnerability," Aquilina said to Nassar before reading his final sentence. "I’m not vulnerable. Not to you. Not to other criminals. I swore to uphold the law and I know what to do. You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."
After revealing the length of his conviction, she stated: "I just signed your death warrant."
Allegations about Nassar's behavior first emerged in 2014, after which he received a three-month suspension from his coaching position Michigan State University. Then, in 2015, the US governing body for gymnastics cut ties with the disgraced doctor.
However, it wasn't until he was publicly accused of abuse in 2016 that Nassar stopped seeing patients.
After having assaulted and traumatized so many vulnerable patients for so long, Larry Nassar deserves the life sentence he received - and the lack of respect he was shown by the judge.