date of testimony: January 16th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
December 16, 2016, I woke up from a nightmare sweating yet chilled to the core. I knew before months of defending the mastermind I knew I was one of them. That afternoon thousands of graphic images were found on multiple computers and media devices. I still think about that daily.
For years Mr. Nassar convinced me that he was the only person who could help me recover from multiple serious injuries. To me he was like a knight in shining armor. But, alas, that shine blinded me from the abuse. He betrayed my trust, took advantage of my youth, and sexually abused me hundreds of times. For this I believe that Mr. Nassar deserves the maximum sentence for which his actions deserve.
As a nation we need to take control. Sexual offenders need to know that they cannot continue with the crimes they are committing, and that no matter how long it takes for a survivor to come forward, their crimes will be exposed and their actions will be admonished.
Sexual assault and harassment should not be a part of our culture. Mr. Nassar should never be allowed to look at, talk to, or touch another young person again.
I was an innocent nine year old with a broken pelvis that was willing to trust and allowed the doctor to do anything to help it feel better. I had no reason not to. He treated a few of my cousins. He was friends with my mom and aunts. He had pictures of Olympians and thank you notes from floor to ceiling in that MSU Sports Medicine office.
I gazed at them during every appointment. I knew the story behind many of the portraits, he shared them with me. I was the 18 year old preparing to go away to college, apprehensive, and just hoping my body would be able to withstand four more years of the sport that defined my life. Ten years of abuse and neglect.
I don’t like the word victim. Being a victim implies the desire for pity. I am a survivor, but more so, I am me, and those ten years are a part of my story. They have helped to define who I am today. Today I am more guarded than I was a year ago but I also am wiser and more aware. Today it is my job to be an even better role model and mentor and to be an advocate in saying that this does not define the sport of gymnastics or the medical profession.
I have the honor of working with young girls every day. They listen to what I say, get notifications every time I post to Instagram, analyze what I do, pick up on my vocabulary and copy how I dress. It is my job to teach them to be humble and kind, strong willed and determined, gritty and confident. It is my job to teach these girls that they can be the most powerful, amazing, and influential humans if they so choose and to help them realize that they have a voice and they have the ability to stand up for what they believe in. It is my job to ensure that every nine year old I work with knows that she has an amazing future ahead of her and to ensure that every 18 year old I know realizes that she has the power to define who she is, that no matter what she goes through she will always have people in her corner, and she should have faith to help her get through it.
It is not my job to point out the flaws in the system and what others could have done to protect my innocence. That truth will one day be exposed.
But it is my job to make a difference and an impact on the world and to help stop monster-like humans from abusing their power.
I am working on forgiving you, Mr. Nassar.
One day I will be able to, but I will never forget what you have done. I must ask you this, are you remorseful for your actions in all of the lives you have changed forever? Do you regret misusing your medical dominance? I could hear it in your voice that November day when you pled guilty. You are
sorry for the pain that you have caused. You had the same sincerity as you told me the story of why you blame yourself for sweet ********** birth story, as you hugged me at your brother Mike’s funeral, and all of those times you told me I just needed to rest and could not compete.
Saying that you did nothing for me would be a lie. You helped to heal me. My fragile bones, that is. You shared your knowledge and gave me some invaluable advice, but you also abused your power and my trust in you, and that is not okay.
My love for humanity is greater than the fear of the unknown. My voice is louder than my inner thoughts. My hope for change is more prevailing than my desire to ask why me, why was I the nine year old?
This past year I have had countless somber days and incredibly long sleepless nights. I clenched my jaws as I heard strangers wonder how he really did what he did and turn the other way as I
saw her face on the front page of the newspapers in the gas station. I have held back tears when friends ask how I was holding up. I have looked into my parents’ hardened eyes, seeing their pain from now knowing that their only child was molested right in front of them in the same room. When no one is around I have cried and sobbed, felt a rush of every emotion and solidified my belief that I have the most amazing family and an incredible circle of friends.
And I have had to think through and talk about the hundreds, hundreds of appointments and Nassar home visits and cringe at all of the times I should have said something about the improper treatments and oath breaking moments. But I didn’t, and I cannot look back anymore.
I am determined to be more involved in making this world a better place. I can use my voice, my education, and my experiences to help stop females and males alike for not standing up for themselves and others. After all, darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
THE COURT: Thank you very much for being here, for your words, for allowing the world to hear them. You certainly are that core of strength, that role model, that mentor. Such insight for such a young person, that’s a gift. You have chosen to accept that gift and not let it destroy you and I’m so proud of you and honored to know you.
MS. MOORE: Thank you.
THE COURT: And I hope that everyone you come in contact with recognizes what a privilege it is to know you.