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More Than 150 Victims Came Forward. Here's What They Said

Everything you need to know as Larry Nassar sentenced to up to 175 years
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2018 4:09 PM CST
Nassar's Victims Got Last Word: 'Little Girls Don't Stay Little'
Victims react and hug Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis after Larry Nassar was sentenced by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to 40 to 175 years in prison, during a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(Newser)

"I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting," McKayla Maroney told Larry Nassar during his seven-day sentencing hearing, which concluded Wednesday with a sentence of up to 175 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct. The Olympic medalist was one of 160 women who accused the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor of abusing them. The New York Times rounds up quotes from each of them, including gymnast Jade Capua, who called Nassar a "monster who left me with more pain and scars than I came to his office with," and Kyle Stephens, a family friend and Nassar's first known victim, who warned: "Little girls don't stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world." Here's everything else you need to know.

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  • The New York Times also looks at Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, "an unusually fierce victim's advocate," who decided to let scores of Nassar's victims give impact statements during the hearing, offering praise and support to each of them. "Leave your pain here," the crime novelist and former Michigan Army National Guard member told one victim. "And go out and do your magnificent things."
  • USA Today rounds up more of Aquilina's best quotes to Nassar and his victims. "Only the defendant would be better off if you were not here. Please stay with us," she said to one victim having thoughts of suicide.
  • Following the final statement from his victims, Nassar apologized. "Your words ... have shaken me to my core," CBS Sports quotes him as saying. "There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am."
  • But WXYZ reports Aquilina questioned the sincerity of that apology, reading from a letter Nassar sent to the court earlier in the proceedings in which he says he "was a good doctor because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised" him; blames the media, judge, and attorney general; and complains “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

  • Dvora Meyers at Deadspin notes that every victims' statement opened with Aquilina asking them, "What would you like me to know?" She praises it as a "powerful prompt" that allowed the women to bring up exactly what they wanted without being led and shares some of their stories.
  • In an open letter published in the Detroit Free Press, Rochelle Riley says Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon and the entire board should resign for not doing anything to stop Nassar despite years of complaints: "These stories are about a sexual predator, the 150 women who didn't let him get away with it—and the one woman who did. That woman is you, President Simon, because you run the place."
  • MLive reports university trustee Joel Ferguson says that's "not going to happen. Period." "None of our senior people were complicit in what this pervert did," he says, calling Simon "by far the best president we've ever had."

  • "A full review" of Michigan State's actions—or lack thereof—is coming, the Detroit Free Press reports. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he will reveal plans for such a review after a second Nassar sentencing hearing scheduled to began next week. In the meantime, he says he doesn't want "to upstage" the victims.
  • Meanwhile, the US Olympic Committee sent an open letter to athletes following Wednesday's hearing calling for full resignations of USA Gymnastics leadership, according to Sports Illustrated.
  • The CEO of the US Olympic Committee also announced an independent investigation into Nassar's abuse, the AP reports.
(Read more Larry Nassar stories.)

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