On Wednesday, 2012 Olympic champion McKayla Maroney’s attorneys released a wrenching victim impact statement that she wrote about Larry Nassar, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor. Maroney, like 2012 teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, has said that Nassar sexually molested under the guise of medical treatment while she was competing on the U.S. national team. In her victim statement, Maroney said that she believes Nassar should spend the rest of his life in prison. (Raisman published her own victim impact statement today at The Players’ Tribune.)
Though victim impact statements were not allowed to be read in court at Nassar’s sentencing on federal child pornography charges today—he pleaded guilty to those back in July—it seemed that Judge Janet Neff heard Maroney’s and other victims’ calls for maximum penalties. She sentenced Nassar to 60 years, 20 for each of the three counts to which he pleaded guilty. “He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children,” Neff said
Nassar is 54 years old. A 60-year federal sentence is tantamount to life in prison. But if he somehow manages to serve out the entirety of his federal sentence, he’ll still have to serve out his state prison sentence for the 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct he pleaded guilty to last month. Those sentences, which will be served consecutively with his federal sentence, will be handed down next month. At those hearings in Ingham and Eaton counties, Nassar’s victims—all of them, not just the ones the specific charges pertain to—will be allowed to read impact statements.
During the sentencing, Nassar’s attorneys described his receipt and possession of child porn as a “disease” he’s been fighting.
But the federal prosecutors did not mince words when describing Nassar’s offenses. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lewis said that Nassar had “amassed a collection that is just shockingly huge.”
After the sentencing, five of Nassar’s victims—including Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to come forward publicly against the former doctor—and their attorneys held a press conference. “I don’t need answers from Larry,” Denhollander said when asked about Nassar’s statement. “I know what he did.” Though Nassar and his crimes were discussed, most of the comments from the victims and the attorneys centered on the institutions that enabled his abuse for years—Michigan State, USA Gymnastics, and the USOC. Those answers have not been forthcoming.
While expressing gratitude to the federal prosecutors and the judge for the sentence handed down, Denhollander said, “Today the justice feels very incomplete.”