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"Death warrant": Former US Olympic doctor sentenced to 175 years

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The former sports doctor who admitted to molesting some of the top US gymnasts for years has been sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison as the judge declared: “I just signed your death warrant.”

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The sentence overnight capped a remarkable seven-day hearing in which scores of Larry Nassar’s victims were able to confront him face to face in a Michigan courtroom.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar’s “decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable”.

“It is my honour and privilege to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable,” Aquilina said.

When the hearing ended, the courtroom broke into applause.

A prosecutor said Nassar found competitive gymnastics to be a “perfect place” for his crimes because victims saw him as a “god” in the sport.

Nassar turned to the courtroom gallery to make a brief statement, saying that the accounts of more than 150 victims had “shaken me to my core”.

He said “no words” can describe how sorry he is for his crimes.

One of the first athletes to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault was the last victim to offer statements at his sentencing hearing.

Rachael Denhollander is a Kentucky lawyer who stepped forward in 2016 after the sports’ governing body was accused of mishandling complaints of sexual assault.

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people in the Lansing area, but the sentencing hearing has been open to anyone who said they were a victim.

– AP

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