Nassar to face another sentence
By ED WHITE
and DAVID EGGERT
LANSING — Larry Nassar, the sports doctor accused of sexually assaulting more than 150 women and girls, will be confronted again by scores of victims as he faces another prison sentence for molesting gymnasts, this time at an elite Michigan club run by an Olympic coach.
Judge Janice Cunningham has set aside several days for roughly 60 people who want to confront Nassar or have their statement read in court. The event starting Wednesday could unfold much the same as a hearing last week in another county that ended with Nassar getting sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison — what a different judge described as signing the doctor’s “death warrant.”
The practice of allowing accusers to speak even if they are not tied directly to a case has raised questions about fairness. But attorneys say the victim statements probably pose little risk on appeal, especially since Nassar pleaded guilty, agreed to allow the statements and is expected to get another long prison sentence as part of his deal with prosecutors.
“If you get what you bargained for, then you really can’t argue that you were prejudiced in any way,” said Margaret Raben, former leader of a Michigan association of criminal defense attorneys.
It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to introduce “aggravating” evidence at sentencing to support their request for a severe punishment. But the parade of victims offering emotional accounts of their abuse to the face of an abuser went well beyond the typical hearing.