Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

MI sports doctor gets 60 years in prison

MI sports doctor gets 60 years in prison

McKayla and Erin Maroney sent in the eye-opening letters for the judge to read in private, instead of McKayla making her planned appearance in the Grand Rapids, Michigan courtroom to testify against Nassar, the former US gymnastics doctor she says abused her under the guise of medical treatment for six years.

The child porn was found on 54-year-old Larry Nassar's electronic devices in 2016 while he was being investigated over sexual assault.

"It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver medal", McKayla wrote, describing the times she says Nassar sexually assaulted her during the 2012 London Olympics.

The child pornography sentence brought Nassar a step closer to justice for many survivors, whom Nassar sexually assaulted years ago under the guise of a medical treatment.

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Rachael Denhollander, a former MI gymnast who filed the first criminal complaint against Nassar, said after the sentencing that the case represented failures on many levels, from university athletics programs to sports governing bodies. This is what keeps predators in power.

Maroney reportedly meant to read her letter out loud for the court before Nassar's sentencing but instead made a decision to sent her account directly to the MI judge who will be sentencing Nassar on Thursday. "The seriousness of his conduct, and the devastating impact it has had on the lives of so many, can not be overstated". Plaintiffs are also suing USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, where he was a doctor and faculty member.

Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining and possessing child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence in July. He then paid $49 to have his laptop wiped of the child pornography and threw away hard drives that contained child pornography, according to court documents.

Nassar is also named in civil lawsuits, in which he is accused of sexual misconduct by more than 125 women and girls.

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Shannon Smith, an attorney for Nassar, said he was "devastated" by the sentence and that he would appeal the sentence. "Olympic medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and now Gabby Douglas are among the scores of girls and women who have come forward to say that they, too, were abused". Michigan State declined to comment.

"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up?"

Concerns about Nassar's behaviours can be traced back to 1990 after four other women said they were digitally penetrated during treatment sessions in the late 90's. "We were told he's the best doctor, he's the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him".

"Make no mistake: This is an American tragedy", said attorney John Manly.

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