date of testimony: January 17th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at time of first abuse: 12
First of all, I’d like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to express our experience and giving us a voice. I will never forget the night I saw Larry’s face on the news. I was watching Dancing With the Stars, then a commercial for the news came on with Larry’s face and allegations of sexual abuse. When the allegations first came I had two thoughts; first was, this absolutely can’t be true, it’s Larry.
Second, I always had a feeling deep down that something wasn’t right. The moment I heard about the questionable procedure my heart sank. I was a victim.
Over the next couple of months after it first came out, realizing that I was a victim of sexual abuse by someone who I trusted is a feeling that is impossible to explain.
I started seeing Larry when I was 12 years old for back pain. Being a competitive gymnast the only doctor to go and see was Larry Nassar. He was who every competitive gymnast hoped to see to help with their injury. You were lucky to have him as your doctor.
I walked into his office at Michigan State the first time and I saw every one of my idols on the wall, notes and letters expressing their gratitude toward him and how much they loved him. As a 12 year old the last thing I would think was that his way of treatment was anything other than making me feel better to get me back into the gym. I trusted him and he used that to manipulate me.
I will never forget that first appointment and every appointment after. Off and on for 13 years I saw Larry as my doctor until I had my first surgery four years ago. I sent other family members and friends to see him. I often wondered why I continued to go back, but the truth of the matter is I did trust him and I truly believed he had my best interest at heart, even though I know how uncomfortable I was at every appointment. I told myself he is the best. It’s just not like that.
Larry Nassar was never Doctor Nassar to me. He was Larry, our friend, and not only to myself but to my family, coaches, and teammates who trusted him also.
I have felt sick to my stomach every day since realizing I have been a victim of his over ten times for his own sexual pleasure. He knew exactly how to take advantage of us and did it every time. I was lied to and made to believe that he was on my side.
For me, personally talking about my feelings is not one of my strong points. I internalize everything which is why I have so much anxiety. Seeing a therapist and regular visits with my doctor help me make sense of everything.
I have a two year old son and a daughter on the way and I will make sure nothing like this ever happens to them.
I want to show my family how strong I am and that I am a survivor. I am here to stand with the rest of these women and to speak up and hope that this doesn’t happen to anybody else. One of the things that gymnastics taught me was to be tough and talking about what made me uncomfortable was a weakness.
I never realized how much this affected me until deep down — affected me deep down until all this happened. It was like a part of me was completely broken, but I’m finally able to be free and validate it. I could speak up and talk about being a survivor.
Larry took away a part of me that I will never get back and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make sense of all of this. I hope that Larry gets what he deserves and serves the maximum amount of time for doing what he has done to me and so many other women, including my fellow teammates and friends.
THE COURT: Thank you very much. Ma’am, whatever he took from you, whatever you feel that you won’t get back, I promise you by speaking out, that strength that you have, that is a healing power, and whatever empty space you feel that he took will be filled by something better.
MS. DOSKI: Thank you.
THE COURT: You’re going to get stronger and stronger, and I know that especially because you recognize that speaking out is important for your children. And it’s not just your children. It’s all of our children that you’re speaking out for, so I applaud that. You are tough. You’re going to get tougher, and the world will watch all great things that you do on behalf of the other survivors and your children and, of course, sports.
All of the survivors see the need for sports to hear the recklessness that can occur when proper procedures are not in place, so your voice will make those changes, and if they don’t come, maybe we shouldn’t attend sports events. Maybe we need to have even louder voices. I don’t know what the remedy is but I do know that each of you will stand together and make sure that sports is safe for your son, your soon to be born daughter, and all of our children, and that is an immeasurable difference that will be in the world and should start filling that empty piece of yours because it is gold.
MS. DOSKI: Um-hum.
THE COURT: I so thank you for being here and for your husband to stand by you. Not all men stand behind women who make these statements and, sir, you and the rest of the families are to be applauded, because I have in this very court seen the opposite, so when families come forward, husbands, coaches, parents, siblings, it is so meaningful, so thank you.
MR. DOSKI: May I say something, Your Honor?
THE COURT: What’s your name?
MR. DOSKI: Ryan. There’s circles of hell reserved for people like you.
THE COURT: Thank you, sir.