On January 24, 2018, Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40-to-175 years in prison for sexually abusing young girls while working as a trainer for the USA Gymnastics team, and later as a Doctor at Michigan State University.
Over 150 survivors came forward– women and girls –to not only expose him as a predator- but to courageously read off statements regarding this dark truth directly to Nassar, their abuser.
“Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” – Kyle Stephens
“You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. I just signed your death warrant,” she said.
“You are no longer victims. You are survivors. You’re very strong,” Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said.
Undoubtedly, a sentencing as big as this one will bring about new ways to prevent something as heinous as this from happening. Amidst this new wave of women’s empowerment and upheaval that we currently find ourselves in, it is that much more symbolic to have all judges and prosecutors alike be women. But, symbolism alone doesn’t hold enough value to make a difference. More needs to be done. A sentencing like this one is a start.
Angela Povilaitis, Michigan assistant attorney general offers a simple yet important reminder which is to “believe children when it comes to allegations of abuse”.
“At this particular moment in history, this sentencing hearing will be viewed as a turning point in how our community, our state, our nation, our culture looks at sexual abuse,” Povilaitis added.
The entire USA Gymnastics Board and MSU’s Athletic Director resigned in wake of Larry Nassar case.
According to Laure Hopkins, a guest writer for the HuffPost, “Nassar used his charm and his position as national team doctor to make everyone his gossip buddy, his special friend, his best pal ― so that when the world he built one day came crumbling down, he’d have an army of supporters defending him.”
Clearly, more pressure and effort needs to be put into examining what and who gave way for this predator to abuse young female athletes for over 25 years.
Visit KidsLiveSafe for information on what you can do to minimize the dangers your children or loved ones face when it comes to sexual predators.