Olympian publishes letter she wrote to doctor sentenced for sexual abuse

(WXYZ) - Olympian Aly Raisman, one of the 100 women and girls sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar, said she was denied the chance to speak during the doctor’s sentencing Thursday.

Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possessing thousands of images of child pornography.

RELATED: Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar sentenced to 60 years in prison for child porn

The USA Gymnast said she had prepared a statement that she wanted to read, but the federal judge denied her request.

Several victims spoke during Nassar’s sentencing, but Raisman wasn’t among them, a move she said was “upsetting” when she published the letter she intended to read in The Player’s Tribune.

Along with Raisman, Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Jamie Dantzscher have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.  

“Larry abused his power and the trust I and so many others placed in him, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly he manipulated and violated me,” Raisman said in her victim statement.

 

 

Today was the first of three prison sentences for Larry Nassar, who will learn his punishment in state court in January after pleading guilty to using his hands to molest girls at his campus office, his home and at a gymnastics club near Lansing, Michigan, sometimes with parents in the room.

Separately, more than 100 women and girls are suing Nassar. Michigan State and USA Gymnastics also are defendants in many cases.

Nassar told U.S. District Judge Janet Neff that he has an addiction.

"You go back and you wonder how I got down this path to begin with," he said. "I really did try to be a good person. ... I hope one day I can be forgiven, and I'm going to take every day of your sentence to try to better myself."

Neff followed the government's recommended sentence, saying Nassar "should never again have access to children."

She said the federal sentence won't start until he completes his sentences for sexual assault, which effectively means the 54-year-old won't be free again. Nassar faces at least 25 years in prison in the other cases.

The child porn was discovered last year. Nassar acknowledged that he dumped computer hard drives and paid $49 to have a laptop's memory wiped clean to try to outfox police. The hard drives were found by investigators because the trash truck on his street was late.

In a statement, Michigan State said the 60-year sentence "represents another important step toward justice for the victims." But victims and lawyers have been deeply critical of the school, claiming campus officials failed to recognize years ago that Nassar was a threat.

John Manly, an attorney representing many women and girls in lawsuits, said negotiations with Michigan State and a mediator failed to lead to an agreement this week. Michigan State declined to comment.

"We intend to fight for justice for the victims," Manly said.

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