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57 Survivors to Confront Nassar at Second Sentencing Hearing
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Disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar will face a second sentencing hearing on Wednesday in Eaton County, Michigan, where 57 survivors are expected to deliver victim impact statements, joining the 156 who spoke in the historic hearing January 16-24 in neighboring Ingham County.

Disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar will face a second sentencing hearing on Wednesday in Eaton County, Michigan, where 57 survivors are expected to deliver victim impact statements, following the 156 who spoke in the historic hearing January 16-24 in neighboring Ingham County.

It is unknown if the 57 returning allowed to speak a second time, as it appears the court will allow. Tuesday's announcement by the Michigan Attorney General's Office could bring the total to 213 survivors coming forward to speak publicly by the shocking sexual abuse they suffered from Nassar, a once-respected USA Gymnastics and U.S. Olympic team doctor who worked as a team physician and associate professor at Michigan State University. The heartbreaking testimonies in the Ingham County case shocked the world, galvanized an already surging #MeToo movement, and has launched multiple investigations into the institutions that have been accused of ignoring and enabling the now-convicted pedophile. MSU President Lou Anna Simons and the entire board of USA Gymnastics have been forced to resign.

On January 24, Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison, above the prosecutor's recommendation of 40 to 125 years in prison. Nassar must serve the sentence after he completes his federal sentence of 60 years on three charges related to child pornography, an unlikely circumstance for the 54-year-old former physician. Nassar is appealing both sentences.

In sentencing Nassar, Judge Aquilina referenced a letter she had obtained from the Ingham County Sheriff late on the second day of the hearing. She revealed a few lines of the letter on the third day of the hearing, revealing that he wrote complaints that he found it too mentally taxing to listen to so many of his victims and that the judge was turning the sentencing into a media circus to seek attention for herself. He later delivered a short apology in which he claimed he was truly broken up by the impact statements. When she sentenced him, however, she revealed more of the letter, in which, despite his professed apology and, he again claimed that he was a legitimate, respected doctor and that all his former patients had been brainwashed by the media into believing he had assaulted them, and that he had only pleaded guilty.

"I was a good doctor, because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised and came back," Nassar wrote. "Now they are seeking the media attention and financial reward."

When Aquilina asked him if he would like to withdraw his guilty plea and plead not guilty, he declined.

Led by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Attorney General's Office investigated and prosecuted Nassar with the help of the Michigan State University Police Department, and initially charged Nassar with 22 felonies on November 22, 2016. After a year of maintaining his innocence, Nassar agreed to plead guilty to seven charges of criminal sexual conduct on November 22, 2016, in Ingham County, home to the MSU campus. A week later he pleaded guilty to three more counts in Eaton County, related to sexual assaults of minors between 2009 and 2011 at Gedderts' Twistars club in Dimondale. As part the plea agreement with the state, Nassar agreed to open sentencing hearings in which any victim who had filed a complaint against him with the Michigan authorities could deliver a victim impact statements.

Eaton County Circuit Court Judge Janice Cunningham will preside over the hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Court will be closed Thursday but the hearing is expected to continue Friday and into next week if necessary, the Attorney General's office stated. As in Ingham County, the prosecutor has requested a minimum sentence of 40 years to a maximum of 125 years.

Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis will again prosecute the case. In her sentencing memo to Judge Cunningham, she noted the devastation Nassar's has caused and his lack of remorse.

"As one victim so eloquently stated, society sometimes sees one victim as a tragedy, but a hundred victims as a statistic," she wrote. "What the Court will see and hear is the destruction this Defendant's criminal actions have wrought in the victims' lives, their families' lives, and in the community at large. As evidenced from his self-serving statement at the plea hearing in Ingham County and the letter he wrote and that was read by Judge Aquilina during his Ingham County sentencing hearing, defendant has shown no remorse for his acts or the pain and destruction they have caused."

Povilaitis noted in her closing argument on January 24 that Nassar's fate lies in the hands of women. Povilaitis' team consists of three female prosecutors, and both judges in Michigan, as well as the federal judge, are all female.

"The fact that the women led the investigation, the prosecution team and that three female judges now sentence defendant Nassar is poetic justice," she said.

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