date of testimony: January 16th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
Thank you very much. I saw Larry as a freshman in high school back in 1999. I was really excited about playing soccer that year because I made the JV team as a freshman and we were the powerhouse soccer team out of Mason so it was a big deal for us, for me.
Leading up to the season I had gotten a lower back injury during an indoor soccer game, and as the outdoor season progressed it got to the point where I collapsed after practices and games in an insane amount of pain. In my own high school mind not playing was not an option.
Not playing was not an option, and my parents were obviously concerned, and through my mom’s connections with MSU I was able to get an appointment with Larry.
I saw Larry once. I remember him doing a scan on my body as I stood straight up in his office where he poked and prodded at me and he made various observations about my muscles and bone structure, et cetera. My mom was in the room. I was really into sports and, honestly, it was interesting to hear such a thorough examination of my body.
After the standing examination was done Larry asked me to lay down on the exam table and he positioned himself so that he was between my midsection and where my mom was sitting so she couldn’t see what was happening. He kept prodding at and manipulating my legs and hips and stomach and at some point he said he was going to move his hands close to my vagina. I’ve thought a lot about that statement in hindsight and I see now how devious and how practiced it must have been for him. My mom knew this doctor would be getting close so no cause for concern, and I was expecting something to happen but I didn’t know what. I had absolutely no other medical or personal experience against which to compare what he was about to do, and he didn’t talk me through what he was doing, so he molested me and he molested me with my mom in the room.
My mom and I talked about the appointment afterwards but I didn’t really have the words for what Larry had done, and as a 15 year old girl I was embarrassed to talk to adults about something like that. I had never seen a gynecologist. I never had a pap smear, and at the time I thought this is what it meant to be a woman going to the doctors, awkward and embarrassing and uncomfortable but just part of the deal. Besides, I thought he was looking out for me.
It’s been about 18 years since my appointment, and in that 18 years I have never had another health professional come close to touching me the way that he did. At the time I had a sense that it was a strange appointment and if the university or police or someone actually looking to find something had asked either my mom or I about the experience, they would have put together a pattern of him acting far outside of normal behavior for a doctor, but no one asked us, and so after me, Larry had another 16 odd years to molest and assault young women and girls.
It sickens me to know that I was on the early side of his abuse. He used those early appointments with people like my mom and I as a test case to see how far he could push the patient/doctor trust for his own instant gratification, and it makes me feel so disgusted and weak that I was part of his learning process, to know that he was doing that to other girls at the time who were hurting just as much as I was and who just wanted to get better, and to know that he took what her learned from those appointments like mine and he went on to abuse so many young women and girls for the next 16 years.
I knew that Larry Nassar molested me when I read the article in the IndyStar. This last year and a half is about coming to terms with how naive and vulnerable I was. I feel very stupid for not understanding what was happening at the time, really guilty for not contributing in some way to stop it sooner, and really, really emotional and vulnerable, but I also feel really lucky because I got to go through high school and I got to go through college and dating and I got to meet my future husband only thinking it was a weird doctor’s appointment. It’s just in the last year that I’ve had to come to terms with what happened, but even in the last year it has changed me. Larry’s later victims knew they were victims at a much younger age so beyond molesting them, as you heard today, he’s also robbed them of the innocence and carefreeness that’s come with that time in our life.
After today I don’t plan to think about Larry unless I absolutely have to. I get to keep living. I get to keep looking forward to the future and what’s next. I get to keep having an incredibly rich and fulfilling life, and so do the other women who are here today, and so do the other women who haven’t necessarily stepped forward, but that’s not what he gets, and that’s where I get my justice. I’d like Larry to sit in prison for a very long time with no hope for what’s next.
I also want to say I was abused once a long time ago. I did not understand it was abuse until I was an adult, and even with that, this past year has still been a very emotional and trying time. I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been for the charging victims.
I don’t want the women and families who testified against Larry to have to go through that again unless they want to, which is why I hope that even though these crimes warrant a lifetime or more in prison, you sentence Larry to the highest minimum of 40 years so that the plea deal is not jeopardized.
And I also want to close by saying thank you to you, to Detective Andrea Munford, to Snyder, Angela Povilaitis, to Rachael and IndyStar for shining a light on this and for the other women
who stepped forward to end the abuse. I know that it took a lot of people to catch and prosecute this person, and I appreciate the network that it’s taken to get here. Thank you.
THE COURT: I appreciate you being here. That wasn’t just a weird doctor appointment, it was a criminal doctor appointment, and I’m very sorry that no one caught up sooner. I’m also sorry that this wasn’t just a gymnastic bad event, it was — also reaches now into soccer, so I suspect that there’s no sport that was immune because he treated all, so I appreciate you being here, because what that says, too, is that there’s not an isolated area for this kind of predator than — so people need to talk out, and you’re talking out, even so many years later, so vital to healing of yourself and others, and the acknowledgment that it is never the fault of the child. There is no fault here in regard to the victims, even though they feel that way, so I am really proud of you for saying that you’re not going to think about him anymore. You shouldn’t. He’s not going to harm anybody else.
MS. MARK: Thank you.