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December 8, 2017
Child molester/gymnastics coach Larry Nassar gets maxed-out, 60-year federal prison sentence for child porn offenses
The typical defendants sentenced in federal court for child porn offense have not been convicted of contact offenses and have strong arguments for being sentenced below the severe federal sentencing guideline ranges. But former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is not your typical federal child porn offender and, as reported here, he did not convince a judge he should get a below guideline sentence. Indeed, he got the maxed out in every possible way at his sentencing in federal court yesterday:
Larry Nassar, the 54-year-old former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor whose work took him to multiple Olympic Games, received an effective life sentence when a federal judge on Thursday sentenced him to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.
"He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children," U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said as she imposed a sentence that went beyond guidelines calling for 22 to 27 years in prison. He was sentenced to 20 years on each of three counts to which he's admitted. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
Neff also ordered that his federal time would be served consecutively to state sentences for sexual assault to which he's also admitted. He will be sentenced next month on those charges.The courtroom was filled to capacity. Among those in attendance were several victims of Nassar's admitted sexual assault, their relatives and their attorneys. Several victims said after the sentencing they were still trying to process their feelings, but it was a step toward justice.
“I was blown away with what the judge did today, and I thought it was very fitting," Larissa Boyce, who first raised concerns about Nassar to an MSU coach in 1997, said at a news conference after the hearing. "I can’t thank her enough for the things that she said."
In court filings last week, Nassar's attorneys asked Neff to show leniency, saying the doctor had worked toward redemption by helping fellow inmates and taking Bible classes since his arrest nearly a year ago. Nassar, speaking in a barely audible voice from the courtroom podium on Thursday, told Neff he’d long battled an addiction he likened to alcoholism or drug addiction. His shame kept him from asking for help, he said. He said he hoped his crimes would educate people about the problem to prevent others from being hurt in the future....
But Neff said Nassar’s crimes hurt so many people on so many levels. That includes the unnamed children in the pictures who feel assaulted every day knowing someone somewhere could be viewing their bodies, she said. It includes the women Nassar assaulted who now struggle to trust doctors and struggle with their own sense of self-worth.
The judge said she'd sentenced defendants in child pornography cases for a decade but Nassar was "unique" in the sheer volume of pornography he'd collected and the brazen way he assaulted women during medical appointments with parents in the room. "You have to wonder whether he felt he was omnipotent, whether he felt he was getting away with something so cleverly," Neff said as several victims and family members in the room started to cry. "I am a mom of two daughters. I cannot imagine that kind of situation."
Federal prosecutors had argued for the maximum 60 years, saying Nassar "poses an immense risk to the community" and quoting one victim who said he "will not hesitate to reoffend" if he's ever freed. Neff agreed.
Nassar pleaded guilty in July to three federal charges after investigators said he possessed at least 37,000 graphic videos and images of child pornography, including images of prepubescent children engaged in sex acts. He also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for trying to destroy the evidence. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Nassar paid to have his work laptop wiped clean and threw away hard drives containing the pornography. Investigators were only able to obtain those hard drives at Nassar's Holt property because the garbage truck happened to be running late that day, according to court records.
Some of the videos appeared to show Nassar assaulting young girls in a pool, investigators said. As part of a deal with federal prosecutors to obtain his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed they would not charge him with alleged sexual exploitation of children in relation to four reported victims. Thursday's sentencing ends one of three criminal cases against Nassar. He's also pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in both Ingham and Eaton counties and could get to up to life in prison in those cases when he's sentenced next month.
Prior related post:
- Does and should anyone care about just how and where child molester/gymnastics coach Larry Nassar rots in prison?
December 8, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Permalink
Posted by: Docile the Kind Soul | Dec 8, 2017 11:12:54 AM
I do not understand something.
"...the brazen way he assaulted women during medical appointments with parents in the room."
And, then, "...Larissa Boyce, who first raised concerns about Nassar to an MSU coach in 1997, ..."
How could this crime go on for so many patients for so long? This is an important question. Assume that 1% of the population has pedophilia. Assume there are a million doctors. That means 10,000 doctors have the same sexual orientation. No doubt most are moral, and do not exploit their patients. Say, 10% are immoral, and do. That is still a 1000 doctors needing to be removed.
Posted by: David Behar | Dec 8, 2017 12:00:42 PM
The criminal justice system appears to be worthless at protecting 100's if not 1000's crime victim little kids, over a long time. You lawyers are in utter failure.
You lawyers get really good at whacking productive employers when an employee tells an off color joke. Then you swoop in, and want $millions.
Posted by: David Behar | Dec 8, 2017 12:16:24 PM
Doesn't help when a federal judge she's her clear prejudice and hate in a case.
3 separate consecutive 20 year terms PLuS made them consecutive to state sentences that haven't even been issued yet?
She clearly had no business on this case and meeds to be facing charges of her own for misuse of her authority
Posted by: Rodsmith3510 | Dec 8, 2017 4:56:22 PM
Perhaps re the porn charges his lawyer should have reviewed what it was that absolved U.S. Judge Alex Kozinski; surely there might have been some mitigation so far as 60 years! Crazy crazy sentencing.
Posted by: FluffyRoss | Dec 8, 2017 6:18:57 PM