By Tracy Connor, NBC News
Former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced Monday to another 40 to 125 years in prison by a Michigan judge who said she didn’t believe his claim of remorse.
Nassar, who is accused of molesting 265 girls and women over two decades under the guise of medical treatment, delivered a monotone apology in Eaton County Court, saying the victim impact statements he heard over nine days of hearings “impacted me to my innermost core.”
(Larry Nassar will now spend an additional prison sentence of 40 to 125 years on top of the sentence that was issued to him in January this year, of 40 to 175 years. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Feb 5, 2018)
But Judge Janice Cunningham revealed that just days before, during a jailhouse pre-sentencing interview, Nassar said his admission during plea hearings that his invasive bare-handed pelvic procedures had no legitimate purpose was inaccurate.
“I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact that you have had on the victims, families and friends,” the judge said.
“Clearly you are in denial, you don’t get it, and I do not believe there is a likelihood you could be reformed.”
(Larry Nassar is sentenced to 40 to 125 years on Eaton County charges by Judge Janice Cunningham during the third day of his sentencing at the Eaton County Courthouse in Charlotte, Mich. on Monday. Courtesy of MLive and YouTube. Posted on Feb. 5, 2018.)
Barring appeals, Monday’s proceeding marks the end of the current criminal cases against Nassar and caps an extraordinary outpouring from more than 200 ex-patients who gave searing impact statements during nine days of hearings.
Although Nassar’s fate is sealed, the fallout is far from over.
The U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and even the FBI face lingering questions about whether they could have done more to stop Nassar, and several investigations are under way.
“I am grateful the criminal proceedings are finished,” said Rachael Denhollander, whose accusation in September 2016 sparked the scandal.
“I am greatly disappointed that we have finished the criminal proceedings without seeing any responsibility taken by the institutions that let this happen.”
(Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go on the record accusing Dr. Larry Nassar of sexual misconduct, closed out an exhaustive, week-long trial against the former USA Gymnastics physician. Courtesy of TIME and YouTube. Posted on Jan 25, 2018)
Victims say they reported Nassar as far back as 1997 and were dismissed, and prosecutors and the judge said that should be a wake-up call for everyone.
“It is unfathomable to think about the number of victims that would have been spared had authorities acted upon the complaints they received years ago,” Cunningham said.
The sentence Nassar got was a foregone conclusion; Cunningham said at the outset that she planned on following the plea agreements that Nassar made last year.
And it didn’t change the fact that he is all but certain to die in prison: He was previously sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Ingham County for molesting seven girls and to 60 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.
(Former USA gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison Wednesday. The first story about sexual abuse taking place at USA gymnastics was published in August of 2016 by a team of reporters from The Indianapolis Star. Marisa Kwiatkowski is an investigative reporter for The Indianapolis Star and part of the team that broke the story. She joins CBSN to discuss the reporting efforts that led to Nassar’s conviction. Courtesy of CBS News and YouTube. Posted on Jan 25, 2018)
However, after he was caught with tens of thousands of images of child pornography and accused of molesting a family friend starting when she was six years old, Nassar pleaded guilty in all his cases.
During his plea hearing, he had to make an allocution in which he admitted he penetrated the victims for sexual and not medical purposes.
But in a letter to the Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina last month, he denied that was the case, while complaining about having to listen to so many victims.
By the time of the Ingham County sentencing, Nassar appeared contrite again, apologizing and telling the victims he was moved by their accounts of abuse.
Days later, though, defense lawyer Shannon Smith went on a radio show and said she didn’t believe many of the girls had been molested and that Nassar was using a legitimate technique.
(Rachael Denhollander, the first victim to go public in the Larry Nassar case, spoke out about how she was attacked by Nassar’s attorney and said she was just trying to get fame and attention. Courtesy of WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 and YouTube. Posted on Jan 24, 2018)
In a statement issued by a second lawyer, Nassar disavowed her remarks and said he stood by his plea agreements.
It’s noteworthy, however, that he did not explicitly say in court on Monday that he had done anything wrong.
“The words expressed by everyone that has spoken, including the parents, have impacted me to my innermost core,” he said.
“With that being said, I understand and acknowledge that it pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotions that you all are feeling.
“It is impossible to convey the depth and breadth of how sorry I am to each and everyone involved. The visions of your testimonies will forever be present in my thoughts.”
Judge Cunningham, however, had the last word.
“You have lived an idolized life. You were a prominent doctor in our society. You were the member of an Olympic team. You have been pampered and lived a high-class lifestyle,” she told Nassar.
“The result will be spending rest of your life in a small prison cell. I’m sure that is unthinkable to you. But you will be left to sit there with only the memories of destroying your own family.”
“And I do not believe you will have the ability to shut out the words of the children and the young women and the adults who trusted you, and you let down.”