In December, Larry Nassar—the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician who sexually abused hundreds of women and girls under the guise of medical treatment—was sentenced for the first of three times. In that case, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography—more than 37,000 images were found on his hard drives—and destruction of evidence. He later would be sentenced after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct in Michigan’s Ingham and Eaton counties.
Nassar has appealed his sentences in both the federal and Michigan cases. Today, the federal appeal was denied.
From the Lansing State Journal:
“Nassar’s federal court-appointed appellate attorney filed an appeal in April, arguing that Neff erred when she used his 10 sexual assault convictions in state court, for which he had not been sentenced at the time, in calculating the sentence guideline range. Nassar’s attorney also argued that it was ‘procedurally unreasonable’ for the federal judge to order Nassar’s state sentences to be served after the federal sentence.”
The three judge panel ruled that Judge Janet Neff, who sentenced Nassar in federal court, acted appropriately when she sentenced Nassar to three consecutive 20-year sentences. The appeals judges said that given the scope of Nassar’s crimes, the harm he inflicted on so many people, and the risk he poses to the public, it was acceptable for Neff to sentence Nassar consecutively. The panel also acknowledged that not all of Nassar’s victims were in Michigan, “and thus at least implicitly recognized that Nassar’s state sentences for first-degree criminal sexual conduct would not account for all of his criminal behavior.”
Nassar has two more appeals pending for his sentencings in Ingham and Eaton counties in Michigan. Nassar’s court appointed lawyers have already tried, without success, to get Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who sentenced him in Ingham county, removed from the case.
The full decision from the judges is below.