A federal judge sentenced Doctor Larry Nassar to 60 years in prison last week. Doctor Nassar plead guilty to three counts of child pornography. Each charge allows a 20-year max punishment. The judge, in this case, imposed the maximum sentence for each charge and required them to be served consecutively (one after the other) instead of concurrently (all at the same time).
Larry Nassar served as a doctor for USA Gymnastics for years. Former gymnasts, Rachael Denhollender and Jamie Dantzscher, came forward with their allegations of sexual abuse and assault in September 2016. Since then, more than 100 women have stepped forward with their own stories of abuse.
State and Federal Charges
Larry Nassar faces many, many charges related to his bad behavior. The State of Michigan charged Nassar with ten counts of criminal sexual conduct. These charges stem from the sexual assault allegations.
The Federal Government charged Nassar with several crimes related to child pornography. The government found more than 37,000 pictures on Nassar’s computer.
Nassar’s 60-year sentence applies only to the federal child pornography charges. The New York Times expects the State to sentence Nassar to 25+ years in prison on the criminal sexual conduct charges.
Even without the state charges, though, Dr. Nassar will die in prison.
This case raises an interesting and often overlooked lesson in criminal law. Your trash doesn’t belong to you. In fact, the trash on your curb is officially abandoned property.
The Supreme Court of the United States decided in California v. Greenwood that the Fourth Amendment does not protect trash on the curb. Anyone can legally go through your trash once you put it out. And, if the police find incriminating evidence in your trash, the State can use it against you in court.
Larry Nassar tried to trash some evidence in this case. And he got caught.
I think we can all agree that Nassar got what he deserves. But just know, for future reference, the court will not suppress evidence found in the trash under a Fourth Amendment argument.
Don’t commit a crime. If you do commit a crime, don’t throw the evidence away in your trash.