Up to 175 years in jail for disgraced doctor

Up to 175 years in jail for disgraced doctor

Up to 175 years in jail for disgraced doctor

Disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday for sexually abusing scores of young girls under the guise of medical treatment.

"I've just signed your death warrant," Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said as she handed down the sentence after a week of gut-wrenching testimony by over 150 of Nassar's victims.

"You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again," the judge told the 54-year-old Nassar in a tense Lansing, Michigan, courtroom. "Anywhere you walk destruction will occur to those most vulnerable."

Minutes ahead of the sentencing, Nassar apologised in court to his victims, who included Olympic gold-medal winners Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney but also scores of female athletes at Michigan State University, where he worked.

"What I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling," Nassar said, turning at several points to face his victims in court.

"There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred," he said.

More than 150 women and girls accused Nassar of a pattern of serial abuse dating back two decades.

The final woman to deliver a statement in court was Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar of abuse and file a police report against him.

Calling for the maximum sentence, she asked the judge: "How much is a little girl worth? How much is a young woman worth."

Denhollander said the "brazen sexual assault" upon her occurred when she was 15 years old and was carried out "with my own mother in the room," unaware of what was going on. "I assured myself it must be fine because I could trust the adults around me," Denhollander said.

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