Olympic medalist Aly Raisman joins other Nassar victims on day four of sentencing hearing
Today is the fourth day of a sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University sports doctor charged with sexually assaulting young girls and women under the guise of medical treatment.
The hearing is giving more than a hundred victims a chance to make statements to Nassar in the court. Among them today was Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman.
Here’s what she said:
“Over those 30 years when survivors came forward, adult after adult, many in positions of authority, protected you, telling each survivor it was okay – that you weren’t abusing them. In fact, many adults had you convince the survivors that they were being dramatic or had been mistaken. This is like being violated all over again.”
Reporter Kate Wells has been in the hearing room today. She joined Stateside to bring us the latest.
More photos and statements from Friday:
"I will learn to view the abuse as something that's given me strength...I am no longer the humiliated child I once was. I'm a brave young woman," Megan Ginter said while embracing her friend Katherine Gordon, who also gave a statement.
"I find myself on familiar, yet disturbingly unfamiliar, ground today," Doug Powell, father of Kassie Powell and an undersheriff in Shiawasee County said. "Inmate Nassar. That's what your name is. And don't you forget that...your name is not doctor. It's inmate."
"You and I had a very 'special' bond...I believed you, because you believed in me," said Kaylee McDowell, whose abuse started when she was 12. "You had an ownership over me, and over all of us, under the white hospital sheets. I trusted you with my life. [...]
"You have gotten me down, but I will not stay down. I will rise higher. You will fall, Larry," she laughed. "You will fall down into your grave. That's all I have to say."
"Larry Nassar is accountable. U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable...and now it's time for change, because the future gymnasts do not deserve to live in fear. Thank you," Jordyn Wieber said.
"You had your eyes closed, and continued to molest me," high school senior Kara Johnson told Larry Nassar. "You smacked my butt, said 'Alright, we're done here, sweetie.'" She was 13.
"You made me afraid of the world," Madeline Johnson told Nassar. "After today, I will no longer suffer...You will no longer deprive me of life."
"You are merely a symptom of the sickness that plagues the very core of Michigan State University," said dancer Morgan McCaul. She and other victims criticized the university, and called for President Lou Anna Simon to resign.
Nassar broke down during Trenea Gonzcar's statement. Gonzcar has known Nassar for over 30 years. "I hope you cry like we cry. I hope you feel bad for what you've done. I hope...everyday these girls can feel less pain. But this is goodbye to you, Larry," Gonzcar told him.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Doug Powell was retired from law enforcement.