Judge Rosemarie Aquilina has declared that Larry Nassar, a now former doctor for the U.S. Gymnastics team, was accused by over 265 victims of sexual abuse. The cumulative criminal acts have earned him a life sentence of shame and decades in prison. But Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles says he deserves “like 3,000 years,” although she is grateful that Nassar was sentenced in the manner that he was.
In her first interview since Biles initially reported that she was sexually abused by Nassar, the 20-year-old spoke with NBC News anchor Hoda Kotb about her feelings on the matter. Fighting back tears, she said, “I think the judge is my hero just because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over any of the girls, and letting the girls go and speak was very powerful.”
Aquilina, who gave Nassar a sentence of 40 to 175 years in prison last week, reportedly told Nassar that she’d “just signed [his] death warrant,” Today reports.
Kotb and the rest of the world wondered about Simone’s ability to juggle the “weight of the world” while dealing with abuse from Nassar, to which she responded, “I think we’re very good at compartmentalizing things, and so we just kind of push it in the back of our heads because we don’t want anyone to think of that or we don’t want ourselves to think of that.”
Biles mentioned that the new USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry flew down to meet with her but that the conversation had little to do with the Nassar case. The Olympic Committee also hasn’t reached out to the gymnast since she posted her #MeToo testimony, while in preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
But Biles is hopeful about their response.
In addition to the abuse charges that he’s being faced with, Nassar has also been charged with 60 years for child pornography charges. While girls and women continue to come forward, Nassar is set to face 57 more women in Eaton County, Mich. next week.