The Apache Pow Wow

The Larry Nassar Case

Jasmine Oang, Writer

Dr. Lawrence “Larry” G. Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics national team osteopathic physician, has been accused of sexually assaulting over 100 patients, under the pretense of giving them medical treatment. Since the first public accusations in September 2016, 156 women, including former USA Gymnastics members Jamie Dantzscher, Jeanette Antolin, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols, Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and Jordyn Wieber, have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.

According to one accuser, Nassar had been sexually abusing her since 1994 and has gone on for six years. With a long list of accusers, Nassar, who worked at Michigan State University at the time has been investigated numerous times over the years after the first allegations arose in 2014. However, he was cleared after denying the charges claiming he had been conducting legitimate medical procedures. In Nov. 2016, Nassar was charged with three counts of inappropriate sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13. He pleaded not guilty and was freed on $1 million bond. A month later, he was indicted on federal child pornography charges claiming that he had received or possessed child pornography between 2003 and 2016 and was denied bond. In light of these allegations, 18 women stepped forward and filed the first of many sexual abuse lawsuits. Later, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Jordyn Wieber of the Fierce Five 2012 Olympic gold medalist team along with 2016 gold medalist Simone Biles came forward with their allegations as well.

On Nov. 22, 2017, he pleaded guilty to seven charges of first-degree sexual assault and entered another guilty plea on Nov. 29, 2017 to three additional charges of sexual assault. On Dec. 7, 2017, 54-year-old Nassar also pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. After a seven day hearing of over 150 testimonies, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison on Jan. 24.

Before sentencing Nassar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, read parts of a letter he submitted to the court in which he complained his accusers were seeking news media attention and money. Writing, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” in response Judge Aquilina said, “You’ve done nothing to deserve to walk outside a prison again”. Nassar later apologized saying, “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. 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.” With all three of his sentences added up, Nassar will likely never step foot out of prison in his lifetime.


Photo courtesy of NYTIMES.COM

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The Larry Nassar Case