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Ex USA Gymnastics Doctor Sentenced 175 Years In Prison

After hearing statements from over 150 women and young girls who have been sexually abused over the past two decades, judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar  up to 175 years in prison on Jan. 24.

"I've just signed your death warrant,"said Aquilina as she gave Nassar his sentence.

Nassar defended his medical practices and accused the women who said he sexually abused them of lying for media attention and financial reward according to a letter he wrote to the court.

He pled guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Michigan and three  charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County, Michigan and is awaiting sentences on those charges.

Separately he has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.

Nasser addressed the court in Lansing, Michigan before the judge announced his sentence on charges of sexual misconduct. Nasser apologized in a brief statement, turning around to directly address the victims. According to CNN Nassar said, "There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred."

Some powerful questions like, "How much is a little girl worth?" and "How much is a young woman worth?" were asked by the former gymnast Rachael Denhollander at the criminal sentencing hearing.

Over the course of seven full days, Denhollander and other victims of Nassar approached the podium in the courtroom, and faced the man they said sexually assaulted and abused them under the the impression of providing medical care over more than two decades.

Nassar sat and listened on the witness stand, sometimes even hiding his head in his hands and wiping away tears with a tissue.

The focus of the week long sentencing has been on the victims and survivors. One by one, women and their families have come forward to explain how Nassar used his respected position to molest young injured girls seeking medical treatment.

Over 150 women faced their accuser and explained their struggle with anxiety, depression, and instances of self-harm. Others said they no longer trust doctors or that they shrink from any physical touch. However difficult, their remarkable bravery stared down Nassar in court while calling out the systems of power that protected him for more than two decades.

Court officials predicted 80 victims to speak in court but the number doubled over the course of the sentencing hearing as more and more women came forward.

All the women were inspired to speak out by what Aly Raisman termed an "army of survivors". The survivors of this hard situation have proven that no matter how hard it is there’s always a rainbow after the storm.

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