At the final day of Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing today, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read excerpts from a letter that Nassar wrote two months after agreeing to plea guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. In his letter, Nassar came off as defiant and wrote as if he was still somehow innocent, which prompted Aquilina to read it to prove that Nassar had not yet reckoned with what he’d done.
Here are the excerpts she read:
Let me begin: The federal judge went ballistic at sentencing...and spent 10% on the federal case and 90% on state cases...she gave me 60 years instead of 5-20 years. The prosecutor even admitted that I never belonged to any porn sites...was not on the dark web, and also, they could not prove I viewed it. It was all deleted of course. I shared my electronics, and of course, couldn’t prove that.
What I did in the state cases was medical, not sexual, but because of the porn I lost all credibility. So I’m trying to avoid a trial to save the stress to my community, my family...yet look what’s happening. It’s wrong. I was a good doctor, because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised and came back over and over. The media convinced them that it was wrong and bad.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The media is sensationalizing this. The [attorney general’s office] forced me to [plea guilty]. I was so manipulated by the AG, and now Aquilina, and all I wanted was to minimize stress to everyone. The FBI investigated [my Olympic treatments] in 2015 because nothing was wrong. Now they’re seeking the media attention and financial reward.
She then tore it up.
After reading the letter, Aquilina looked Nassar in the eye and asked him if was guilty, since he couldn’t admit it to himself even after entering his plea. Nassar lingered for a few seconds of complete silence before stammering, “I’ve said my plea.” Before sentencing him to 40-175 years, Aquilina addressed Nassar and his crimes, admonishing him for ever considering his decades of sexual abuse to be anything but preying on children. She also called for a sweeping investigation into how Nassar got away with it for so long.
“Inaction is an action. Silence is indifference. Justice requires a voice. And that’s what happened in this court. 158 buckets of water were placed on your so-called ‘match’ that got out of control,” Aquilina said. “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 on this bench.”
“I find that you don’t get it, that you’re a danger,” she said.
Aquilina called his actions, “Precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable.” She pointed out that he could have controlled himself, or sought treatment, but instead he denied that he ever had harmed anyone. “It was my honor and privilege to hear these survivors. It’s my honor to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison again,” Aqulina said. After sentencing him, Aquilina said she never wanted Nassar to leave prison, and that he never would, telling him, “I just signed your death warrant.”
Aqulina’s quotes are pointed and strong as possible, but she urged people not to centralize her in the narrative. Despite many requests, she said she wouldn’t be talking to the media, and that anyone telling the story of the trial should tell the story of the brave survivors and victims who spoke out. “It’s their story,” she said.