For four days this week, Larry Nassar watched nearly 100 girls recount their experiences of sexual abuse. Many of Nassar’s victims addressed him directly, looking him in straight in the eye. Others couldn’t bear to.
Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor for about two decades, has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Michigan. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges.
As part of his criminal sentencing, Nassar must listen to days of “impact statements” by his victims. According to CNN, prosecutors say 98 young women are expected in all, although that number could change.
On Thursday, in a letter to the judge presiding, Larry said his case was being treated as a “four-day sentencing media circus.” He wrote, “She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed toward her.”
Read on to hear some of the most powerful victim statements against Larry Nassar.
Aly Raisman, 23, came forward on November 13, saying she was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar.
Speaking in court, Raisman demonstrated all the same qualities that mak her a Gold-medalist: confidence, focus, and poise. Over the course of her career thus far, Raisman has won six Olympic medals, three of them gold medals; and was the captain of the US team in London and Rio. Aly has proven herself to be a mature leader and that maturity was evident in her statement today. On multiple occasions, Raisman stared Nassar directly in the eyes, at one point saying, “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere. And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me.”
Raisman has also lashed out against USA Gymnastics, saying that the organization did nothing to stop the abuse and “to me, it seemed like they threatened me to be quiet.”
Early Friday morning, Wieber explained in court that she was treated by Larry Nassar for any and all injuries from ages eight to 18. “It wasn’t long before he gained my trust,” she says. “He became a safe person, of sorts. And to my teenage self, he appeared to be the good guy in an environment that was intense and restricting.”
Wieber, 22, is a retired American gymnast, and was a member of the Fierce Five at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she took home the gold in the team competition. Today, she volunteers as the assistant coach of the women’s gymnastics team at UCLA.
McKayla Maroney, 22, retired from competitive gymnastics in 2016. She was one of the ‘Fierce Five’ at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she took home the gold medal in the team award and a silver medal on the vault. Known as an incredibly strong vaulter, Maroney also took home the gold medal on vault at the 2013 World Championship, where she became the first US female gymnast to defend a World Championships vault title.
Maroney did not speak in the courtroom this week, but had her words spoken on behalf of a prosecutor. Recalling one instance in which she was asked to go to Dr. Nassar’s hotel room when she was just 15, she said, “I thought I was going to die that night.”
At another point in her victim statement, which you can watch above, Maroney says, “I was told to trust him, that he would treat my injuries and make it possible for me to achieve my Olympic dreams… Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment’ that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.”
Jade Capua, 17, stood side-by-side with her parents when addressing Nassar. Jade was just 13 when she went to Nassar after suffering an in jury. According to ABC, Jade was “led by her coaches into believing Nassar… was ‘a miracle worker, who could fix anything.'” Speaking directly to Nassar, Capua said, “You violate the right to be called a doctor.”
On Tuesday, Kyle Stephens was the first woman to address Larry Nassar at his sentencing. She described him as a “repulsive liar”, saying he fooled her family into trusting him. Until earlier this week, Kyle Stephens simply went by “Victim ZA”, however, she decided to break her anonymity to deliver her statement to the fallen doctor.
Unlike the other accusers, Kyle was not a gymnast. Her parents were friends with Nassar. “…he would abuse her, she said, when her family would get together with him,” reports Teen Vogue. The outlet states that at first, Kyle’s parents did not believe her claims that Nassar exposed himself to her or “penetrated her with his fingers.”
In her statement, she said, “I have been coming for you for a long time. I’ve told counselors your name in hopes they would report you. I’ve told your name to Child Protective Services twice. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges. And now as the only nonmedical victim to come forward, I testify to let the world know you are a repulsive liar.”
Maggie Nichols mother gave a victim statement on behalf of her daughter on Thursday. Maggie, 20, is currently a gymnast at the University of Oklahoma. She’s one of just nine NCAA gymnasts to have scored a perfect 10 on all four events.
Before suffering a knee injury, she hoped to compete at the US women’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
On January 9, we learned that Maggie Nichols is “Athlete A”– the first to report sexual abuse to USA Gymnastics. According to Nichols, the abuse by Nassar began when she was just 15, when she started to experience back problems. In her statement, Maggie writes, “I trusted what he was doing at first, but then he started touching me in places I really didn’t think he should. He didn’t have gloves on and he didn’t tell me what he was doing. There was no one else in the room and I accepted what he was doing because I was told by adults that he was the best doctor and he could help relieve my pain.” Nichols said Nassar used this treatment on her on numerous occasions.
She also revealed that Nassar contacted her on more than one occasion, saying she looked beautiful.