Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault, complained Thursday that he cannot stand the stress of listening to dozens of young women cry and scream at him for what he did.
“I didn’t orchestrate this. You did,” Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sternly replied to Nassar, who sent her a six-page letter condemning the “four-day media circus” surrounding the trial.
Nassar accused the judge of “making me sit in the witness box so the cameras can be on her” and claimed he has had more than one “stressful heart moment” since Tuesday, when victim statements began.
“The media has been following you every step of the way,” said Aquilina. “I didn’t invite them. I don’t need any publicity.”
“You may find it harsh that you’re here listening, but nothing is as harsh as what victims endured in your hands,” she added.
Aquilina also panned Nassar’s letter, noting: “This isn’t worth the paper it’s written on... There’s no truth in here. It’s delusional. You need to talk to these issues with a therapist, and that is not me.”
The judge is set to announce her sentencing decision on Friday but said she would delay that to allow victim impact statements to continue into next week, if necessary.
“Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you’ve had at their expense and ruining their lives,” she said.
Nassar is convicted of sexually assaulting 10 girls, and prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence of 125 years in prison. In a separate case, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography.
Aquilina told one survivor on Wednesday that Nassar “will never be free.”
She added: “The next judge he faces will be God.”
In total, Nassar is accused of molesting more than 140 former patients. His alleged victims include revered Olympians like McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles.
Kyle Stephens, the first to read her statement on Tuesday, led the charge of women who spoke directly to Nassar in court, calling him a “repulsive liar.”
“Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever,” she continued. “They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
Nassar is accused of abusing Stephens repeatedly when she was as young as 6 years old until she was 12.
As for Nassar, he alternately shook, cried, and hung his head during the testimony on both days which, at one point, provoked the ire of a former gymnastics coach who screamed in outrage that the now-convicted abuser refused to look his victims in the eyes.
“I still remember the feeling of his hand,” said middle-school teacher Gwen Anderson, who survived Nassar’s abuse at a young age and read her victim impact statement on Wednesday. “I still remember flinching from his touch and I still remember him saying, ‘It’s OK, I know you're not used to being touched that way but you'll feel better.’”
Brennan, who stood at the podium next to Anderson, was outraged at Nassar’s lowered head. He screamed from the podium, “Look at her!”
After spelling his name for the record when Anderson’s statement was concluded, Brennan addressed Nassar once more: “For the record—go to hell!”
A Detroit News investigation also found on Wednesday that at least 14 officials at Michigan State University—where Nassar was working as a sports team physician and associate professor—knew that the now-disgraced 54-year-old had been sexually abusing patients.
According to the newspaper, eight separate women and girls filed “reports of sexual misconduct” with the with the school—up to 20 years before his arrest in 2016. In at least one case, the victim was a 16-year-old who reported Nassar in 1997.
The current president of Michigan State, Lou Anna Simon, allegedly knew about the reports, in addition to “athletic trainers, assistant coaches, a university police detective, and an official who is now MSU’s assistant general counsel.” As such, the Detroit News reports that the officials had and failed to act on “multiple opportunities” to intervene in Nassar’s abuse.