— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) January 17, 2018
Coach Thomas Brennan spoke briefly on Wednesday during the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, accused by more than 100 girls and women of sexual abuse while he worked as a doctor for the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Nassar pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
After one woman delivered a victim impact statement, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed Brennan, the woman’s coach, to speak. His words were curt, choice, and to the point. He said, simply, “For the record, go to hell.”
Judge Aquilina then asked, “Anything else you’d like to say?” Brennan replied, “Me?” Aquilina pushed on, saying, “You. You’re here sir. You spoke out. I’m allowing you an opportunity. You seem to have a few things you’d like to say. I think the world probably wants to hear. So do I.”
Brennan thought for a moment and considered his statement. Then, he added:
I have a different relationship with Larry from the standpoint that I was a coach for many years. I’m also an exercise physiologist. When I graduated from grad school, he was an advisor of mine, he’s been a mentor of mine. I’ve done clinics with him for years in the past. And I’ve probably sent well over 100 kids to him over the years. So the guilt I feel for that is hard to fathom. So, he didn’t only deceive these girls–which is, honest to God, that’s the worst of the worst, is what he did to these girls, so they have the voice–but what you did to everybody else who trusted you and sent girls your way is disgusting. Reprehensible. Unforgivable. That’s all I’ve got to say.
Judge Aquilina then offered some counsel for Brennan.
“Sir, thank you very much for speaking up,” she said. “I hear that guilt that you feel and probably so many who brought girls to him have the same voice, sentiment that you do. But again, I truly appreciate there not being any blame on anyone who should not take the blame as well. There is no girl who was assaulted who is blaming you or anybody else. Thankfully the blame lies solely with the defendant.”
[image via screengrab]