Gym­nas­tics doc­tor to re­turn to court for an­other sen­tence

Journal Pioneer - - WORLD -

Larry Nas­sar, the sports doc­tor ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing more than 150 women and girls, will be con­fronted again this week 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 three days for roughly 60 peo­ple who want to con­front Nas­sar or have their state­ment read in court. The event 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 de­fence at­tor­neys.

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