Back in October, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney revealed how she was molested by her team doctor, Larry Nassar.
In November, teammate Aly Raisman added her name to the list of over 140 young women with their own stories of abuse in the guise of medical care by Dr. Nassar.
On Thursday, Larry Nassar was sentenced — not for sex abuse, but for child pornography charges.
Dr. Larry Nassar, who is 54 years old, has been in prison while awaiting sentencing.
During that time, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman revealed that Dr. Nassar had molested them, sharing their heartbreaking #MeToo stories with the world.
Like so many others, these Olympic superstars describe Dr. Nassar, at the time their team doctor, administering "treatments" to them under the guise of medical practice.
Olympic athletes (and others) often require legitimate therapies such as massage.
Nassar, it is described, would use these as opportunities to molest the young girls who had been entrusted to his care.
These monstrous deeds are evil to their core and unforgivable.
But, though Nassar has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault (a drop in the bucket compared to the number of accusers), it is not for these heinous crimes that he’s been sentenced.
Larry Nassar was on trial for possession of child pornography.
How much child pornography? … asked virtually no one.
He was found to have come into possession of 37,000 images that constitute child pornography.
That almost certainly means that he was collecting photos of very real children who are victims or who were victims. Awful on its own, particularly if he then shared those images or in any way financially compensated the ones who gave them to him.
Dr. Nassar was also accused of trying to destroy those images in order to avoid being held accountable for possessing child pornography.
60 years in federal prison.
Federal Judge Janet Neff explained (though she really didn’t need to) her reasoning behind the decision:
That Larry Nassar "should never again have access to children."
We strongly agree.
Possibly influencing the judge’s decision were impact statements from Nassar’s many victims, including McKayla Maroney.
"Dr. Nassar was not a doctor, he in fact is, was, and forever shall be, a child molester, and a monster of a human being."
"It all started when I was 13 or 14 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport."
That is a nightmare.
"It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’ It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and It happened before I won my Silver Medal."
"For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo."
This is not new information, and matches what she disclosed months ago. But that doesn’t mean that it was any easier for her to write.
"He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night."
McKayla’s mother, Erin Maroney, also gave an impact statement about how this traumatic experience changed her daughter’s life.
"This experience has been shattering to McKayla."
Of course it was.
"She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal and essentially descended into an emotional abyss."
Abusing a child is a tragedy that can never be undone. They can heal, but they’ll never recover the formative years that they lost to trauma.
"At times I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead."
We are eternally grateful that this monster’s abuses did not claim McKayla’s life.
"Her father and I have been living this nightmare for years and until recently we felt hopeless. Nassar and those individuals and institutions that protected him almost snuffed out my daughter."
Michegan State University is accused of having helped to cover up Larry Nassar’s crimes. They adamantly deny it.