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What prosecutor, judge said before Nassar’s sentencing

January 25, 2018

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina reads excerpts from the letter written by Larry Nassar during the seventh day of Nassar's sentencing hearing Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. The former sports doctor who admitted molesting some of the nation's top gymnasts for years was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison as Aquilina declared: "I just signed your death warrant." The sentence capped a remarkable seven-day hearing in which scores of Larry Nassar's victims were able to confront him face to face in a Michigan courtroom. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Before Larry Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to a minimum of 40 years in state prison for sexually assaulting girls, the prosecutor and judge gave statements.

Some excerpts:

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Assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis:

“The breadth and ripple of this defendant’s destruction is nearly infinite.”

“No coach should be in a shower with a boy. No priest has an excuse for any type of sexual touching. But Nassar perfected a built-in excuse and defense — he was a doctor and a good one, or so the world thought. ...He wasn’t a world-renowned doctor. As one of our experts so eloquently put it in preparing this case for trial, he was performing hocus pocus medicine.”

“What does it say about our society that victims of sexual abuse have to hide their pain for years when they did nothing wrong? What does it say about our society when victims do come forward and they are automatically met with skepticism and doubt, treated as liars until proven true? What do we take away from this? These have been important narratives to hear and witness and listen to. They will be the words that burn down cultural stereotypes and cultural myths.”

“The fact that the women led the investigation, the prosecution team and that three female judges now sentence defendant Nassar is poetic justice.”

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina:

“Inaction is an action. Silence is indifference. Justice requires action and a voice. And that is what has happened here in this court. ...There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was silence. Justice requires more than what I can do from this bench.”

“You knew you had a problem from a very young age, even before you were a doctor. You could have taken yourself away from temptation and you did not. But worse yet, there isn’t a survivor who hasn’t come in here and said how world-renowned you were. You could have gone anywhere in the world to be treated.”

“Your decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable. I don’t have to add words because your survivors have said all of that. ...You can’t give them back their innocence.”

“You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges. And anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable.”

“I’ve just signed your death warrant.”

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