date of testimony: January 18th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at first abuse: 15
I’ve had the chance to sit back and hear Larry on the television for months holding on to his so-called innocence, and when I had the chance to physically sit in the courtroom in November to hear him plead guilty to sexual abuse while insisting it was time for all of us to heal, it fueled a fire in me. This petty apology and statement exemplified that this pure excuse of a man, father, former doctor, and now convict still thought he had the ability to control our thoughts and emotions like he has for the last 20 years. But not anymore.
I had first questioned if I wanted to speak at sentencing. I once felt I wasn’t worthy of sharing my story. Because I know he has done the same to so many innocent others. However, I know what he did was so incredibly wrong. It was the times when he had me all to himself or where no one could see where his hands were that he seized the moment and took full advantage of me. I kept trying to tell myself that what he was doing was justifiable.
I had multiple injuries throughout my six years of seeing him at MSU Sports Medicine. First, when I fractured my lower spine competing in gymnastics and fracturing my pelvis while playing soccer my sophomore year of high school.
I was told that my pelvic fracture was only one of two that he had he ever seen throughout his entire career at MSU, and that my injury was only typically seen among men, so my naive 15 and 16 year old self thought that maybe it was normal and acceptable for him to put his ungloved hands into and onto places throughout my body that may not have been okay. But now four years later I know the truth, and I know I’m worthy of sharing my story regardless if he remembers what he did to me or not. I remember him, and that is all that matters
This entire process of reliving and hearing all that he has carelessly and ruthlessly done to not only me but to other survivors has taken a toll on my overall mental and physical health. I lost 20 pounds in the last three months due to stress. Once word of the abuse first started to come out in 2015 I remember having all sorts of feelings coming over me. I was confused, angry, and anxious, just to sum up a few. I never wanted to believe that someone I put so much trust and faith in was capable of doing such a horrific thing to me and so many innocent others. I also started to have some stomach issues that could not be pinned to any sort of allergy or diagnosis.
When the word of his abuse first started to come about, I remember going to a specialist to have testing and procedures performed to see if they could diagnose what was happening within my body, and when I found out I was going to be seen by a male doctor, I freaked out and made my mom come with me at age 21 because I had lost all trust in male doctors at this point.
But it wasn’t until I met with a handful of other incredibly brave survivors when I started to connect the dots. They, too, had suffered from numerous stomach problems, migraines, anxiety, night terrors, and depression as a result of what happened to us decades, years, and even months prior. Some even had the same procedures I had done to try to diagnose their stomach issues. I continually talk with the other survivors to make sure that we are all receiving the help, care, and support that we need. The circumstances as to how we met are really unfortunate, but it is very comforting having them right here with me to relate to because I do find it hard at times to talk to my family about what was happening at appointments
I know my parents hold a lot of guilt for allowing me to be seen by him for so many years, but they, as well myself, were not aware that his so-called treatments weren’t going to help me be able to play the sport that I loved, let alone walk.
As a current senior at Michigan State University school has not been very easy for me to focus on because all of this has started to unravel. I will forever be thankful for my education.
However, it is very discouraging and infuriating seeing how my university has handled this horrific situation. I still have a lot of unanswered questions, as I’m sure most, if not all, of the survivors do and I can only hope and pray that more of the truth is exposed in time and that the enablers of Larry are held accountable for their inability to report his heinous acts.
Larry, you do not have a say in when any of us will heal from the abuse you have put us all through. I came to you thinking I was going to receive only physical healing for my sports injuries and now I have been left to deal with both emotional and mental healing as a result of your selfish acts.
My family always used to say the Lord helps those who help themselves. But with you, you had the opportunity for years to seek help, you knew what you were doing was wrong, but it wasn’t until you got caught that you started to ask for forgiveness.
Instead, you fed your sick fetish by putting your unwashed and ungloved hands on and into hundreds, if not thousands, of girls, myself being one of them.
As others spoke on earlier this week, you compared touching us innocent little girls to alcoholics abusing alcohol as if abusing alcohol was even remotely similar to sexual abuse. If you truly think this is an accurate representation of what you were doing to all of us, then you are more mentally disturbed than I ever thought you were.
Your Honor, I think that you will have heard enough from me and everyone else over the last three days to make the adequate decision of how long he should be put away, and I know I have a lot of trust and faith in your decision, and I want to thank you for allowing me to face my fears. I know I, as well many, will feel a sense of peace and healing from you allowing us to hear our voices. Thank you
THE COURT: Your voices have been heard. But I think that metaphorically you have with your words, and I hope that helps you to go forward positively in the world and do everything that God and your parents wished for you when you were born. You certainly are deserving. Don’t let this define you. Be happy.
MS. HARRISON: I am happy.
THE COURT: Thank you so much for being here and showing us that strength that you have.
MS. HARRISON: Thanks. Even though I cried the whole time.
THE COURT: You know what? Crying is good. These are good tears.
MS. HARRISON: Thank you.