Larry Nassar, the former USA gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty to molesting young athletes, was sentenced on Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison.
“I just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, according to The New York Times. “You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again.”
Over the past few days, Nassar’s victims have given impact statements describing what was done to them and the effect it had on their lives. Last of all was Rachael Denhollander, the first person to speak out publicly about the abuse.
In speaking to the judge, Denhollander asked for the maximum sentence and asked, “How much is a little girl worth?”
Many of Nassar’s victims were teenagers at the time of the abuse. Some were Olympians, and some were even gold medalists. Several criticized USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for not taking action when they reported Nassar.
Nassar said that he was “shaken” as he addressed the 168 people who confronted him about his actions.
“Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself and has shaken me to my core,” he said. “I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
‘You have not yet owned what you did’
But the judge wasn’t convinced. Specifically, she pointed to a letter he had submitted to the court last week claiming that he would not be mentally able to handle the number of impact statements.
The letter contained such gems as “The media convinced them everything I did was wrong,” and “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” He also claimed that he was a good doctor because his patients kept coming back for treatment.
“You have not yet owned what you did,” Aquilina said. “You still think somehow you are right, that you are a doctor, that you don’t have to listen, and that you did treatment? I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir.”
Aquilina also praised Denhollander for her bravery in breaking her silence, calling her “five-star general” of the “army of survivors.”
“You started the tidal wave,” Aquilina told Denhollander. “You made all of this happen. You made all of these voices matter. Your sister survivors and I thank you.”