Ex-US gymnastics doctor sentenced to life imprisonment

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2018 04:01 IST

Lansing (Michigan) [USA], January 25 (ANI): Former Michigan State and United States' gymnastic team physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday after he admitted to sexually abusing and molesting girls and women, who were receiving treatment from him.

A Michigan state prison sentenced Nassar to a minimum of 40 years and up to 175 years, The Washington Post reported.

More than 150 female athletes from the gymnastics team, who were allegedly molested by the physician, also gave their statements.

Before he was sentenced, Nassar, in a statement, apologised to the victims, saying, "I apologise to the victims. There are no words that can express the depth and breadth of how sorry I am."

During the hearing, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read a letter Nassar wrote earlier to the court objecting to the length of the hearing.

In issuing her sentence, Aquilina told Nassar, "I just signed your death warrant."

The hearing of the sentence began on last Tuesday. It was supposed to span for just four days and was expected to feature 88 victim's statements. However, more female athletes of the US gymnastics team came forward to give their statements against Nassar.

US Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kerry Perry, who took over in December 2017, released a statement, calling Nassar's crimes as "despicable". Perry also pledged to create a culture that empowered and supported the female athletes.

US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun, apologized to the athletes, for the disgraceful incident. He also called for the resignations of all the remaining US Gymnastics board members and wanted a "new and fresh leadership."

Nassar, who has admitted to molesting multiple girls and women who were under his care, had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on separate federal child pornography charges last year.

Nassar was promoted to a team physician for US Gymnastics team in 1996. He was an athletic trainer earlier. He also ran a clinic and gymnastics club at the Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member.

However, in September 2016, The Indianapolis Star revealed that two former gymnasts had made allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar.

According to these allegations, Nassar committed sexual assault during medical examinations by injecting a sedative that made the athletes dizzy.

Following these allegations, the US Gymnastics team management fired Nassar in the same month after learning of athlete concerns. He was expelled from the Michigan State University as well due to same reasons.

Michigan lawmakers have called for Michigan State University president, Lou Anna Simon, to resign on moral grounds after the sentencing. (ANI)

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