Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting and raping more than 140 gymnasts and convicted of both possession of child pornography and multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16, is very sad. He is not sad because he molested and raped more than 140 girls, of course -- but because now that he has been convicted, a mean judge is making him sit in the court for four whole days and actually listen to his victims talk about what he did to them and how it ruined their lives. How rude!

As part of Nassar's plea agreement to the molestation of only seven young women, he is required to listen to victim impact statements. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina opened this up to all the women who have accused him of assaulting them, and so far 105 signed up to confront him in court or, like Olympian McKayla Maroney, have their statements read out loud.

Via NBC:

"Dr. Nassar was not a doctor,” Maroney's statement, read by a prosecutor, said. “He in fact is, was, and forever shall be a child molester, and a monster of a human being."

The teenagers and women who came in person stood at a podium, often sobbing as they spoke, directly to the defendant. Nassar, wearing blue jail clothing and a hangdog expression, mostly kept his head and eyes down and sometimes shook or wept.

After each statement, Aquilina consoled and applauded the accuser, heaping scorn on Nassar in the process. She's already said she will impose a sentence that ensures he dies in jail.

Nassar wrote Judge Aquilina a six-page letter in which he accused her of creating a "media circus" in order to garner attention for herself and explained that he was just not "mentally" able to listen to these women.

"Aquilina is allowing them all to talk," he wrote. "She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed at her."

Judge Aquilina was having exactly none of that. "I don't have a dog in this fight, Sir," she explained, "Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives."

Nassar also complained, "Aquilina said if I pass out she'll have the EMTs revive me and prop me up in the witness box.'"

As well she should. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is my new hero. I want a novena candle with her face on it.

Nassar also cited the fact that he was so very upset during his sentencing for possession of child pornography that he even passed out twice. Oh, how very sad for him. That must have been so difficult. Though probably not quite as difficult as actually being a victim of child pornography.

You have to be an incredibly entitled person in order to justify molesting and raping over 140 young girls. A disgusting person, a cruel person, that goes without saying, but also entitled. Entitled to their bodies, entitled to your belief that your sick urges matter more than their lives, entitled to think you're going to going to get away with it. This is another example of him being entitled. He did not consider these girls' feelings in the first place, and he is absolutely outraged that he should have to sit and listen to them now.

It's clear, even in his guilty statement, that he still does not think he did a damn thing wrong.

"For all those involved, I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control. I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. ... We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that."

Well, this is the healing part. As much of it, anyway, as there can be. This part is not about simply "punishing" him. This is for those girls, because they deserve the opportunity to look directly at him and tell him how he hurt them. It's an important step in their path to healing and dealing with this trauma that he inflicted on them. They deserve this, and so does he.


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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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