Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, US, January 24, 2018. .
(photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
After seven days of emotional testimony from more than 160 women and girls describing sexual assault by former Michigan doctor Larry Nassar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar on Wednesdsay to 40 to 175 years in prison.
In delivering her ruling at Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Mich., Aquilina said it was an "honor" and "privilege" to sentence Nassar and that she had "just signed (Nassar's) death warrant."
"As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again," Aquilina said.
Nassar, who is already serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for child pornography convictions, has 21 days to appeal the judge's ruling.
"Your words these past several days -- your words, your words (said to entire room) -- have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core. I also recognize that what I'm feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma and emotional destruction that all of you (have endured)," Nassar said in a statement at the hearing.
"There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days."
The 54-year-old ex-doctor worked as an osteopathic physician for USA Gymnastics and was a faculty member at Michigan State University.
Among the many accusers to testify were Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman.
"If only only one adult had listened and acted, I would have never met you," Raisman told Nassar face-to-face during testimony. "You should have been locked up a long time ago."
Kyle Stephens was the first person to provide an impact statement when the sentencing hearing began on Jan. 16.
"Little girls don't stay little forever -- they grow into strong women that destroy your world," Stephens said.
Fellow Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber also claimed that Nassar abused them, too.
Additionally, Aquilina requested further action by law enforcement officials and the federal government to determine how such "injustice" from Nassar was allowed to take place.
Three USA Gymnastics board members resigned on Monday in the wake of the scandal.
Said Aquilina, "Inaction is an action. Silence is a voice. ... I want to be the voice on behalf of these survivors. There has to be an investigation as to why there was inaction. Justice requires more than what I can do on this bench."