A defense attorney for disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar said she can’t believe that he could have assaulted so many girls.
In an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950 in Detroit, Shannon Smith said, "I have a very hard time believing that my client could have even possibly assaulted that many people day in and day out in front of their parents, and that every single one of those things was a crime, but he was such a manipulator he got away with it. I just can't imagine that's true."
Smith didn’t seem to negate that Nassar was guilty of assaulting some of his victims. However, she seemed to question how many there were. She called the number extreme.
"There was no way there could have been so much," she said. "Larry would have to have been doing this all day, every day, with no one catching on. This is a guy who put child pornography in a trash can. He's not a savvy guy."
Last month Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years behind bars for sexually abusing more than 120 young gymnasts. Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, according to CNN. Nassar was previously convicted on child pornography charges, for which he received 60 years in prison.
Still, Smith says he did some good for his patients.
"There were girls who had perfectly normal lives that never questioned the medical treatment done by Larry Nassar -- and there is a legitimate medical treatment that involves touching sensitive areas and even penetrations," Smith said. "Some of those girls, to be quite frank, they didn't even know what to think because they never felt victimized. He was never inappropriate to them. And because of everything they've seen, they just feel like they must have been victimized. And I think that's really unfortunate."
Nassar put out a statement in which he said he did not authorize Smith's comments.
The judge condemed the statements. Smith was not present in court on Friday during another sentencing hearing for Nassar.
Nassar is back in court again this week for his final sentencing hearing, where he will have to listen to statements from 20 more accusers.
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