County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar it was her "honor" and "privilege" to sentence him to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing countless women.
After announcing her sentencing, the courtroom broke out in applause.
"You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again," Judge Aquilina told him. "I've just signed your death warrant."
Nassar made a brief statement before being handed down his sentence.
"There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred," he said. "An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days."
Judge Aquilina told Nassar that he knew he had a problem and didn't seek treatment.
“You could have gone anywhere in the world to be treated. Any resort, any doctor. In Europe they have hidden places for this,” she said. “You would have done this if you had cancer. I know you would have. You’re about self-preservation.”
She theorized that he likely abused more young women, calling his actions manipulative, devious and despicable.
“You can’t give them back their innocence, their youth,” she said.
Judge Aquilina also made a statement to the women Nassar abused: “You are no longer victims. You are survivors.”
She made it clear that sexual abuse and assault is an epidemic in the United States.
“This isn’t the only heinous crime in this court,” she said, adding that 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police, which means 2 out of 3 go unreported.
She added that stated statistic does not include children 12 and under.
For those who have praised Judge Aquilina as a hero and strong advocate for sexual abuse victims, she had this to say: “I’m not special. I’m doing my job.”
She said that other judges should be doing the same, and she also encouraged other victims to come forward to report abuse: "It stops now. Speak out like these survivors and become part of the army."
Earlier on Wednesday, Nassar’s first accuser Rachael Denhollander urged Aquilina to keep the following in mind while sentencing Nassar: "How much is a little girl worth? How much is a young woman worth? Larry is a hardened and determined sexual predator. I know this firsthand."
Denhollander and about 120 other girls and women gave testimony this month about the impact Nassar’s actions had on their lives. Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, according to CNN. Part of Nassar's criminal sentencing involved victim impact testimony.
Nassar was previously convicted on child pornography charges, which he received 60 years in prison for.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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