A Michigan judge verbally eviscerated former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is now convicted of at least seven counts of sexual abuse, for daring to suggest she was subjecting him to “cruel and unusual punishment” by forcing him to listen to nearly 100 impact statements given by the women and girls he’d abused over decades as a physician.
In a letter, read aloud in court on Thursday, Nassar complained that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was using the trial to build her public profile, and subjecting him to a “four-day sentencing media circus” for “her own benefit,” CNN reports.
“She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed toward her,” Nassar had the gall to write, as women came forward to tell their stories about how he sexually abused them during the course of “routine exams,” and subjected them to humiliating “treatments” that often involved molestation and penetration.
“When I wrote that, it was before I came here, OK. It was a stress — as it says at the end, it was like a cathartic, you know what I mean, it was just a — it was meant for a cry for community mental health,” he told the judge in court Thursday morning. “I’m very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses this next four days mentally.”
The judge, who has now heard about half of the 100 or so victim impact statements, including letters from superstars Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney, had no mercy on Nassar, and ripped into him for even considering complaining about his fate.
“I didn’t orchestrate this, you did,” she sniped at Nassar. “You may find it harsh that you are here listening. But nothing is as harsh than what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands,” she said.
“Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you’ve had at their expense and ruining their lives,” she added. “None of this should come as a surprise to you.”
She then mentioned that 125 women had asked for the opportunity to present their victim impact statement, and that she would extend the court’s time in session so that all of them could say their piece to their former abuser. She said that she did not want “even one victim” to lose her voice or be denied the chance to speak.
Many of the women also used their statements to verbally indict Nassar’s protectors — friends and colleagues who protected him despite having potential knowledge of his actions, and organizations like USA Gymnastics that allegedly may have ignored and silenced girls who complained.
Olympian McKayla Maroney pointed out, “How could have Larry Nassar been allowed to assault so many women and girls for more than two decades? The answer to that question lies in the failure of not one, but three major institutions to stop him — Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee.”
Nassar is expected to be sentenced on Friday.