Disgraced Ex-USA Gymnastics Doctor To Receive Final Prison Sentence
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
This week, Larry Nassar is to be sentenced again. The doctor, convicted of abusing his patients as he worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, has been sentenced to up to 175 years in one county court in Michigan. And now he appears in another county. Matt Mencarini of the Lansing State Journal is covering the proceedings. Good morning.
MATT MENCARINI: Thanks for having me.
INSKEEP: So this second sentencing is a little bit like the last one in that many of the victims have been heard from, including Jessica Thomashow. Let's listen.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
JESSICA THOMASHOW: What you did to me was twisted. You manipulated me and my entire family. How dare you?
INSKEEP: Might there be more victim statements today?
MENCARINI: No. The victim impact statements have concluded for the Eaton County sentencings. So this morning, when the hearing resumes at 9 - 8:30 a.m., it will jump right into the prosecutor's final statements and then Nassar's attorneys and Nassar will have a chance to address the judge. And then it will turn over to the judge who will likely speak for a little bit and then issue her sentence on his three sexual assault charges in Eaton County.
INSKEEP: I'm remembering a couple of statements at his last sentencing. Nassar wrote a letter of complaint about having to hear all the victim statements and then sounded contrite in a statement to the judge, which the judge didn't exactly buy. Do you have a sense of the way the defense is approaching this sentencing, if it's any different?
MENCARINI: We don't. It's hard to tell at this point. There has been some public comments from his attorney earlier in - earlier - I'm sorry - late last week from his attorney, Shannon Smith, who kind of doubted that all 265 of the women and girls who now say they were abused were in fact abused. He walked back away from those comments. So I would anticipate not a whole lot to be said from Nassar or his attorney, Matt Newburg, who I expect to be in court today. That letter has not been discussed at all in the Eaton County proceedings. So I guess we'll kind of wait and see whether Nassar will say much, if anything, today.
INSKEEP: It is a little rare for someone to be tried twice for a set of crimes. Is it purely a matter of exactly where the crime took place, this second county, this second proceeding?
MENCARINI: Correct. This is the third sentencing he'll face. It's the second in state court and the second by the Michigan attorney general's office. The county we're in is where the local gymnastics club Twistars is located. A good portion of those who say they were abused say it happened at that Twistars gym, including the three charge victims. Jessica Thomashow, who you heard earlier, is among those three charge victims in Eaton County. So it really came down to abuses at Twistars, and the last county were abuses at Michigan State University and his home in Holt, which are in that county.
INSKEEP: In just a few seconds, what is the atmosphere like at Michigan State after the president there resigned as part of this scandal?
MENCARINI: There's been a lot of shakeup, a lot of turmoil. New interim president board is under fire - they're, right now, facing more scrutiny in this whole thing than they have in 17 months since the first Indy Star story.
INSKEEP: OK. Matt, thanks very much.
MENCARINI: Thanks for having me.
INSKEEP: That's Matt Mencarini of the Lansing State Journal on this morning when we expect to find out another sentencing - the amount of another sentence for Larry Nassar.
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