Larry Nassar’s sentencing continues push for women’s rights


Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman was one of the many gymnasts to come forward about their experiences with Nassar’s abuse, quickly becoming a face of this movement for women’s rights. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Angela Mammel, Copy Editor

Larry Nassar, long-standing doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, was sentenced to up to 125 years in prison for sexual assault on Feb. 5. This sentencing followed days of testimonies from over 150 female athletes who were victimized by Nassar.

“I’m glad that people are able to come forward and get justice, but it makes me sick that people like Nassar are able to not only live without a guilty conscience, but thrive in powerful positions for so long,” senior Laura Eshelman said. “These girls were silenced when they tried to speak up about their treatment, proving that Nassar’s undeserved position kept him almost immune to being criticized, which is awful.”

English teacher Mrs. Cusamano agrees that this situation was horrific, and is especially upset due to her ties with her hometown of Lansing and her alma mater of Michigan State University.

“I’m really embarrassed for how my alma mater has reacted [to the news of Nassar’s assaults],” Mrs. Cusamano said. “They also absolutely had the opportunity to limit the outrageous number of Nassar’s victims by listening to these women earlier and firing him, but they didn’t. It’s sad, and I hope the right people take charge.”

Eshelman plans on entering the medical field, and is also personally offended due to how Nassar breached the oath doctors take to do no harm.

“You’re there to protect the people and you’re abusing their trust to take advantage of them,” Eshelman said. “This guy was doing it for the money, but the whole Nassar thing is even freakier because he wasn’t even doing it for the money- he just wanted to take advantage of these women. It’s upsetting because you take the oath to say you won’t purposefully harm anyone, and breaking that, especially in the way he did, makes my skin crawl.”

The Nassar issue continues a trend of women finally coming forward and being listened to about their experiences of assault, and the necessity for clearer boundaries and sexual consent has become evident through many of these testimonials.

“Coaches and doctors so often do horrible things to those they take care of supposedly in the name of athletics,” Mrs. Cusamano said. “We really need to set up clearer boundaries and enforce them and listen to what these athletes and patients, or even any victim, tells us about their assault. I think we have to tell and show people the boundaries, to know what’s appropriate and what’s not.”