Katherine (Kate) Mahon
date of testimony: January 16th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
When I first learned about Larry Nassar I could not believe it. I talked with my parents and sister and thought the women that reported the sexual assault must be mistaken. Even though I did not know this at the time, I had also gone through the same abuse beginning when I was 15 years old. Today I know I was in the first stage of grief, denial.
Denial that I could ever be a victim of sexual assault. I was grieving that a person I respected and cared for had betrayed my trust, grieving the realization that I was sexually assaulted as a child.
Prior to and even after my unfortunate contact with Larry Nassar I thought of myself as someone that was good at reading people. However, Larry Nassar is a master manipulator. His conniving and calculating behavior not only tricked me but he tricked my mom who was present for all my appointments as a minor.
After discovering the assault had taken place, my family and I were distraught with grief.
My mom blamed herself and felt she should have asked more questions and been more guarded and skeptical about procedures. The thought of my mom hurting and blaming herself was heartbreaking for me because never once did I think it was her fault.
Anyone that has suffered sexual assault or loves someone who has needs to realize it’s not their fault. It is the sexual predator’s fault, and in this case it is Larry Nassar’s fault.
Even though I accepted this abuse was out of my control to prevent, it has not lessened my depression and anxiety. There are nights I lie awake crying, fearful of the nightmares that may come when I fall asleep, and when I’m awake the nightmare of this reality, my reality, is not much better.
Not only am I depressed with the realization of what happened to me, I’ve had to go on living my same life with family and friends that have no idea what I’m going through. Usually I’m a very outgoing and open person, but it’s been difficult to be my true self without sharing this part of my past. What motivates me to come forward is my strong belief that victims of sexual assault deserve to have a voice. By publicly speaking out against Larry Nassar I’m not just speaking out for myself, I’m speaking out for all the girls and women of the past, present, and future that have been or will be affected by sexual assault.
A quote from Jasmin Kaur: Scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice.
It’s been a difficult road, to say the least, but I know in my heart our efforts will help women not only today but for years to come.
Difficult times can either strengthen or break a person.
I am proud to say that this experience, though extremely challenging and sometimes unbearable, has made me a stronger woman than I was before. Through this strength I have learned to not be ashamed. The only ones that should be ashamed are Larry Nassar and the institutions that enabled him and denied responsibility.
I am thankful to the women that spoke out before me and gave me the courage to publicly share my name today. I am no longer ashamed of speaking out, I am proud to.
It is disgraceful that it has taken this long for these girls and young women to have a voice and for that voice to be taken seriously. It sickens me to know that over 20 years ago this abuse, my abuse, could have been avoided. However, no one took the accusations seriously, or worse yet, no one cared.
Due to the shameful negligence and indifference of Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, myself and 150 plus girls and young women were sexually assaulted and abused by Larry Nassar.
Although being a part of this case and publicly speaking my truth are actions I’m very proud of, my life would have been much easier if Larry Nassar was never a part of it. If he was charged and convicted two decades ago it would have saved myself, the other victims, and all of our families and loved ones from immense amounts of pain and suffering that will now carry with us the rest of our lives.
To the pain and lifelong impact the defendant has imposed on myself, my family, my loved ones, and so many others, I feel that Larry Nassar should receive the maximum sentence. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you. You said a very powerful statement, which is victims have a voice, and they certainly do, and you have found your voice. It is strong, loud, meaningful, and I thank you for being here.
I also think it’s really important that you recognize that this abuse was not your fault, it’s solely his doing, and I am hopeful that other victims hearing you can also learn to feel and understand that. I know it’s a long road of recovery but your voice is so endearing, so important and meaningful to all victims who haven’t spoken and those who have, because you are a survivor, you are a tower of strength, you are an example, a role model, a heroine.
Thank you for being here.
MS. MAHON: Thank you, Your Honor.