When the allegations against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar first broke, the scale of his crimes was hard to fathom. He sexually abused hundreds of young women. Now Nassar is in prison, and it seems like he’s getting first hand experience with just how brutal prisoners can be to child abusers.
Word of this treatment of Nassar first broke back in May. The Detroit News reported that “within hours of being released into the general population,” in The United States Penitentiary, Tucson, Nassar was assaulted.
Malaika Ramsey-Heath, from the State Appellate Defender’s Office in Detroit, is working with Nassar’s appellate team. She told reporters that Nassar was injured, but she wasn’t aware of how serious those injuries were.
His stay in the general population in Tuscon didn’t last long, and he was removed to isolation.
“It offers additional some additional protection but I don’t know if it would be properly classified as solitary,” said Ramsey-Heath.
Authorities are now transferring Nassar. The move is arguably for Nassar’s own good.
“On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons website showed that Nassar is no longer at the high security prison in Tucson, six months after he was first housed there. He is now at Oklahoma Federal Transfer Center, a holdover facility,” Deadspin writes.
The stop in Oklahoma is temporary. Authorities are looking for a safe place for Nassar.
Deadspin spoke with “a retired Bureau of Prisons employee who specialized in sex offender designations in the Designation and Sentence Computation Center.” He suggested the move wasn’t based on Nassar’s treatment in the general population, but something more specific. It would take a credible threat to Nassar for him to be moved.
Meanwhile, Nassar continues to push back against the charges that led to his conviction. He’s appealing the first-degree sexual assault convictions.
During the trial, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed the prosecution to bring more than 150 women into the courtroom to testify against Nassar. The move was incredibly powerful, but is now part of the basis of Nassar’s appeal.
“Judge Aquilina made numerous statements throughout the proceedings indicating that she had already decided to impose the maximum allowed by the sentence agreement even before the sentencing hearing began,” Jacqueline McCann, another of Nassar’s lawyers, argues. “Thus, from the defendant’s perspective the sentencing hearing was just a ritual.
“Instead of a proceeding to assist the judge in reaching a fair and just sentencing decision,” McCann added, “the judge used the nationally-televised proceeding as an opportunity to advance her own agenda, including to advocate for policy initiatives within the state as well as the federal legislatures, to push for broader cultural change regarding gender equity and sexual discrimination issues and seemingly as a type of group therapy for victims.”