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Former USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60 years

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Larry Nassar also faces sentencing in January in two other criminal cases against him.

Associated Press 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan sports doctor who possessed child pornography and assaulted gymnasts was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in federal prison in one of three criminal cases that ensure he will never be free again.

US District Judge Janet Neff followed the government’s recommendation in the porn case, saying Larry Nassar ‘‘should never again have access to children.’’

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Neff said Nassar’s federal sentence won’t start until he completes his sentences for sexual assault. The 54-year-old will get punishments in those two cases in state court in January.

The child pornography was discovered last year when Nassar was being investigated for assault.

Nassar worked at Michigan State and at USA Gymnastics, the Indianapolis-based group that trains Olympians. He admits he molested girls with his hands when they sought treatment for hip and back pain.

Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglas have said they were among the victims.

Raisman and others had submitted letters to the court, but one week before the sentencing, they were informed that the judge had denied their opportunity to speak. So on Thursday, Raisman used the Players’ Tribune website to release her victim-impact statement.

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“Realizing that you are a victim of sexual abuse is a horrible feeling,” wrote the Needham, Mass., native. “Words cannot adequately capture the level of disgust I feel when I think about how this happened.

“Larry abused his power and the trust I and so many others placed in him, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly he manipulated and violated me.”

To this day, she wrote, she has issues of trust. When she travels for work, she is afraid to be alone.

“Maybe by speaking out, by sharing my story and the way my daily life continues to be impacted by Larry’s depraved actions, I can help other survivors feel less alone, less isolated, and encourage them to speak up and to get help,” she said.

Andrew Mahoney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.