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07 December 2017, 08:37 | Henrietta Morgan
Dr. Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing Mich. Wednesday Nov. 22 2017
Nassar is a "monster" who "left scars on my psyche that may never go away", Maroney said in a letter to Neff.
"This experience has shattered McKayla", Erin Maroney wrote in one of the letters, via ESPN. "At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead". Federal Judge Janet Neff followed the government's recommended sentence Thursday.
Maroney's parents are still haunted by the times McKayla was supposed to be under the protection of USA Gymnastics and her coaches, and yet was left unsupervised, giving Nassar easy access to perform his pseudo-treatments on her. "Because the National Team training camps did not allow parents to be present, my mom and dad were unable to observe what Nassar was doing, and this has imposed a bad and undeserved burden of guilt on my loving family". Last week, Neff denied a request from the U.S. Attorney's Office to allow six victims to speak at sentencing.
Once one of the most respected sports physicians in the country specializing in treating gymnasts, Nassar's swift downfall started last August, when a woman filed a police report alleging Nassar had assaulted her during a medical examination years prior, when she was a 15-year-old gymnast in MI seeking treatment for back pain. My husband once questioned the propriety of the isolation of the girls during global travel.
More than 100 civil claims are pending against Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. Several victims plan to attend the sentencing and will speak at news conferences after the hearing, including former MI gymnast Rachel Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar, and Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, who accused Nassar of assault in October as part of the ongoing #MeToo social media campaign. USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny also resigned in March; Nassar's admitted crimes first came to light as part of a broader Indianapolis Star investigation about USA Gymnastics' lackluster handling of abuse allegations.
McKayla's Maroney's testimony mentions the incident as well, saying that Nassar "had given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting treatment". "She said to me, 'Mom I thought I was going to die, '" Erin Maroney wrote. "No one has apologised", Erin wrote.
The criminal cases against Nassar followed reports a year ago in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches.
Another video showed Nassar with a young girl in a swimsuit, his hand on her hip and his thumb in her vaginal area, the agent testified.
Some of the Maroneys' most cutting words went to Team USA and Michigan State, which previously employed Nassar.
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Nassar's sentencing could receive a minimum of 27 years in prison but in recent court filings, prosecutor's have asked the court to impose a 60-year sentence. He faces up to life in prison on those charges when he's sentenced on January 12 in Ingham County and January 31 in Eaton County.
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