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Coach slams gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for hiding his face

by Tracy Connor /  / Updated 

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A coach who sent more than 100 girls to be treated by gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in the years before he was unmasked as a serial sex abuser demanded Wednesday that the convicted pedophile look his victims in the eyes.

The outburst from Thomas Brennan came as one of his former athletes, Gwen Anderson, was tearfully testifying at Nassar's sentencing hearing about being molested by him.

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"I still remember the feeling of his hand. I still remember flinching from his touch and I still remember him saying, 'It's OK, I know you're not used to being touched that way but you'll feel better,'" Anderson, now a middle school teacher, said.

Nassar, 54, could not be seen on the courtroom camera at that moment, but he has generally kept his head or his eyes down as one victim after another has come to the podium.

"Look at her!" interrupted Brennan, who was standing next to Anderson at the courtroom podium.

After Anderson was done testifying, the judge asked Brennan to spell his name for the record. He did, then paused, looked at Nassar and said, "For the record — go to hell!"

The judge asked Brennan if he had more to say and he spoke about how he had considered Nassar, the team doctor for USA Gymnastics, a mentor for years and had run clinics with him.

He looked pained as he spoke about the many young athletes he had sent to see Nassar, not knowing that the doctor was violating them with ungloved hands.

"The guilt I feel for that is hard to fathom," he said.

Nassar has been accused of molesting more than 140 former patients, including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.

"The next judge he faces will be God."

"The next judge he faces will be God."

He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 10 girls, and prosecutors are asking for a sentence of 125 years. He's already been sentenced to 60 years on federal child pornography charges.

Nearly 100 women are expected to give statements at the sentencing hearing, which will last through Friday.

Making a surprise appearance at the hearing was the president of Michigan State University, where Nassar had his sports medicine practice until he was fired last year.

The university has been accused of ignoring early complaints about Nassar and of botching the response after the scandal broke. During the hearing on Tuesday, one victim said MSU President Lou Anna Simon was a "coward" for not showing up.

University spokesman Jason Cody said Simon watched the first day of statements on a livestream.

"After hearing so many powerful stories, she made the decision to attend in person today," he said.

"She had strongly considered attending yesterday, but she believes Nassar’s sentencing is about getting justice for the victims, so the focus and priority should remain on them. She didn’t want her presence to be a distraction."

Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina will announce the sentence on Friday, after all the women have had a chance to speak. She made it clear on Wednesday that there is no room for leniency.

"He will never be free," Aquilina told victim Amanda Thomashow, who previously told NBC News her story of reporting Nassar to MSU three years ago only to see him cleared and allowed to return to work.

"The next judge he faces will be God," Aquilina said.

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