Former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced Monday to another 40 to 125 years in prison by a Michigan judge who said she didn’t believe his claim of remorse.
Nassar, who is accused of molesting 265 girls and women over two decades under the guise of medical treatment, delivered a monotone apology in Eaton County Court, saying the victim impact statements he heard over nine days of hearings “impacted me to my innermost core.”
But Judge Janice Cunningham revealed that just days before, during a jailhouse pre-sentencing interview, Nassar claimed that when he pleaded guilty and admitted his invasive bare-handed pelvic procedures had no legitimate purpose that was a lie.
“I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact that you have had on the victims, families and friends,” the judge said. “Clearly you are in denial, you don’t get it, and I do not believe there is a likelihood you could be reformed.”
Barring appeals, Monday’s proceeding marks the end of the current criminal cases against Nassar and caps an extraordinary outpouring from more than 200 ex-patients who gave searing impact statements during nine days of hearings.
Although Nassar’s fate is sealed, the fallout is far from over. The U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and even the FBI face lingering questions about whether they could have done more to stop Nassar, and several investigations are under way.
Victims say they reported Nassar as far back as 1997 and were dismissed, and prosecutors and the judge said that should be a wake-up call for everyone.
“It is unfathomable to think about the number of victims that would have been spared had authorities acted upon the complaints they received years ago,” Cunningham said.
The sentence Nassar got was a foregone conclusion; Cunningham said at the outset that she planned on following the plea agreements that Nassar made last year.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Tracy Connor