Larry Nassar latest: 57 more victims set to speak out in third hearing as former USA Gymnastics doctor returns to court

A judge told the former doctor he will spend the rest of his life in jail 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
@AndrewBuncombe
Wednesday 31 January 2018 15:05
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This is Nassar's third sentencing hearing
This is Nassar's third sentencing hearing

Disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is to return to court for another sentencing hearing where he will be confronted by dozens more young women and girls he is accused of sexually abusing.

Last week, the former USA Gymnastics physician was sentenced to between 40 to 175 years in prison when he appeared before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

Under a deal reached with the 54-year-old last year, the former doctor pleaded guilty to ten sexual assault charges divided between two Michigan countries - seven in Ingham County and three in Eaton County. Both deals include agreements that his minimum sentence would be between 25 and 40 years.

The three charges in Eaton County relate to incidents involving two girls aged between 13 and 15, and one aged younger than 13. The abuse happened between September 2009 and September 2011, at the Gedderts’ Twistars Gymnastics Club.

Separately, a federal judge in December sentenced Nasser to 60 years in prison for three child pornography charges.

The Associated Press said dozens of victims are expected to appear in court, as they did in the previous hearing, to tell a judge how Nassar abused them as young athletes under the guise of medical treatment. The hearing is expected to last several days.

First whistle-blower in Larry Nassar abuse scandal Rachael Denhollander given standing ovation in court

Last week, more than 150 victims offered excruciating accounts of his sexual assaults in the courtroom in Lansing. The latest proceeding in Eaton County, is playing out as fallout from the scandal continues.

Around 140 victims have filed a lawsuit against Nassar, USA Gymnastics (USAG) and Michigan State University (MSU), claiming the institutions knew about allegations of abuse years ago and failed to act.

USAG said last week after Olympic officials threatened to decertify the organisation as the sport's US governing body that its entire board had resigned, and sponsors have already backed away ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

The United States Olympic Committee, which has been criticised by victims as well, has announced an independent investigation into both its own conduct and that of USAG.

The Michigan attorney general’s office, which prosecuted Nassar, is pursuing a criminal probe into the college over its handling of allegations against Nassar. The university’s president and athletic director stepped down in the wake of Nassar's sentencing last week.

And at least one congressional committee plans to hold hearings on the scandal. The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday to require USOC officials to immediately report any allegations of abuse to law enforcement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday asked a state law enforcement agency to investigate Karolyi Ranch, a training facility where female athletes said they were molested by Nassar.

Nassar faces a minimum of 25 years in prison in Eaton County, though he is already assured of spending the rest of his life in prison. When he appeared last week in Ingham County Circuit Court, Judge Aquilina told Nasser she had signed his “death warrant”.

“You don’t deserve to walk outside a prison again,” she told him. “You have done nothing to control these urges and wherever you go will be destruction.”

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