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Court continues Monday at 9 a.m. EST in the Ingham County, Michigan sentencing hearing of disgraced sports doctor Lawrence Nassar. This is the fifth day. The actual sentencing was originally set for last Friday, but Judge Rosemarie Aquilina postponed it to today or Tuesday because so many people came forward to give victim impact statements.
Nassar pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, but that doesn’t compare to the number of allegations against him. Over 100 women said he sexually abused them. The stories often centered around his work with U.S.A. Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Dozens of women and girls said he molested them during what were supposed to be medical procedures.
Expect Monday to go like last week. The survivors and their loved ones ripped into him when given the chance. Friday is a case in point.
“You’re a fucking hog,” said Doug Powell, father to survivor Kassie Powell. He gave Nassar a short lesson on what they call child molesters in prison. Terms like “chester,” and “diaper sniper.” Other speakers shared pretty much the same sentiment, even if they used more polite language.
Kaylee McDowell, who described herself as a former friend, told Nassar, “I feel dirty even after scrubbing myself raw in the hot shower. By the way, I hope you enjoy the cold ones in prison.”
Nassar’s job gave him cover for decades. Trinea Gonczar said he abused her 800 times. The women were often very young, with Alexis Alvarado saying he molested her when she was 12.
She isn’t even the youngest. Last Tuesday’s hearing began with Kyle Stephens, who said Nassar abused her from ages 6 to 12.
Friday continued another theme: bashing Nassar’s former employers. Gold medalist Aly Raisman called out USA Gymnastics for doing nothing to stop him. It wasn’t enough to give statements in support of the women.
“Now is not the time for false reassurances,” she said. “We need an independent investigation of exactly what happened, what went wrong, and how it can be avoided for the future. Only then can we know what changes are needed. Only then can we know what changes are real.”
A federal judge sentenced Nassar in December to 60 years behind bars for child porn charges. That may well be a virtual life term for the 54-year-old. He also pleaded guilty in November to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. That sentencing hearing for that is set for January 31 in Eaton County, Michigan.
Stay with Law&Crime.com and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the hearing.