date of testimony: January 17th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at first abuse: 13
date of first abuse: 2015
Thank you, Your Honor. I am staying anonymous for a couple reasons. One, because I’m confident that this master manipulator remembers me. I started seeing him in September 2015 which was right after USA Gymnastics had fired him and while he was still under investigation by MSU Police. I believe that I was one of his last and final sources of his sick gratification.
Two, no one needs to know who I am except the judge, him, and most importantly me. I am 15 years old and completely petrified of public speaking, yet I’m speaking today in hopes that this gets me some sense of closure.
Larry, this is hard for me and I hope this is going to be hard for you, too. I only ask one thing of you now, watch me speak out against you. Watch me staring you straight in the eyes and telling you how much you destroyed my life, come face to face with the terrifying things you’ve done, and take full responsibility.
I can remember my first of many appointments with you. I was there for a back injury. We were in the nice corner room with the windows on two walls and posters with messages written from Olympians spread across the room. You were jovial, you smiled, laughed, and told jokes. I left and remember happily telling my mom, this was the best doctor’s appointment ever.
This is where I start my story. I was seeing the doctor who seemed so nice and told jokes. He was supposed to be one of the best in the world. The world was wrong. Instead of a relaxing massage that was helping my broken hip get better, he pulled a gutsy move. With my mom less than five feet away he put his gloveless and unsanitized fingers on my upward inner thigh and started circling his fingers slowly creeping up my leg. I remember I never saw him wash or sanitize his hands, as if this wasn’t disturbing enough already. I still remember the pink color of the exam room. I still can’t bear to see it.
I used to think he cared about me, but now I know that it was all just an act, a way for him to have another victim.
I saw him through eighth grade. Instead of enjoying high school, I spent it dealing with the aftermath of what he did. I started my freshman year in the psych ER with suicidal thoughts. My ninth grade year was deciding whether to report to police and attending mental health appointments. This past summer I was hospitalized twice because I wanted to kill myself. These thoughts still haunt me.
Now I’m in tenth grade and I haven’t been able to make it through a whole school day in months because I have been depressed to the point where I can barely function, where I can only have the energy to keep breathing. High school is supposed to be fun. I haven’t experienced that yet. I’m still busy dealing with the affects of what he did to me
I have multiple types of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. These are only things that have been professionally diagnosed. I know I have some paranoia issues.
Before he assaulted me I never had a nightmare of him breaking into my house and raping me. I know this has never happened to me in real life but I’m still terrified that he will, even though this monster will forever be behind bars. Multiple times a day I see his disgusting face in my head. It’s terrifying. To know someone already took advantage of me in a power situation physically is hard, but for him to have gotten into my head, too, I can’t escape it. I can’t take a break. And the best I can hope for is that Larry Nassar will never be able to take a break either.
I am still trying to do gymnastics because I love the sport but I haven’t let one of my favorite coaches spot me in over a year. I start to tremble when I even have to talk to him, and he is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. I can barely speak to my male teachers. I tremble when talking to them, too. And it’s made the school classes I’m able to attend even harder
I didn’t used to be afraid of men but now I am because of him and what he did to me.
Because of what he did I’m scared of myself. Now I know seeing little things can make me self destruct like I’ve been doing for the past year and a half. There have been so many other affects from this trauma but these are the only things I can say out loud. No one has any clue what other horrifying things there are.
According to Google there is a list of 25 most painful things a person can experience. Number one on this list is emotional pain which includes depression and PTSD. They say that there is evidence showing that emotional trauma and pain are in the same parts of the brain as physical pain. In fact, it at times has been shown to trigger the pain regions even more. Psychological distress is one of the worst things a human can experience. I have experienced both physical and emotional pain and I can easily tell you that emotional pain is worse.
Thank you so much for taking the time to hear me and all the other victims. I hope it helps your decision.
THE COURT: Ma’am, that was, I have to say, not written by a child but an adult. I’m honored that you came here to say all of that. I know how difficult it is.
I don’t know how long you’ve been sitting in the courtroom. I don’t know if you heard these words, I said them before, but I need to say them directly to you. Suicide is never the answer. If you leave this world and leave him in it, he wins.
Do not give him that power, because today speaking what you have said takes all the power and puts it on your side of the court. He has none. I know it’s difficult, anxiety, depression, PTSD, sleepless nights, all of that, but it is not insurmountable.
You are a winner, a champion in your heart. I know that because you would not still be engaged in gymnastics, which you’re still doing, right? Because you’re a winner, right? Is that a yes?
VICTIM 28: No.
THE COURT: Oh, yes. See, I’m military. I want to hear it. I want to hear a yes, ma’am. Can you give me one? Yes, ma’am.
VICTIM 28: Yes, ma’am.
THE COURT: Very good. Okay. You keep working on that, because I know we’re all going to be watching you win, achieve your goals, and live your life, the life that God intended, which in these days you could live to be 150. I want to be 120, okay?
And I want to watch you live. I don’t want you to be another headline that is sad. I want to see all your brilliance and glory in winning. You have that or you would not be here at 15 reading that adult statement that you pondered over, that you thought about, that you dreamt about. You would not be here strong and tall and loud against your assailant in this courtroom.
I assure you defendant will not see the light of day as a free man, but I want you to assure me that you’re going to live a very long life, productive, because that’s what I see and that’s what I heard. You need to keep it. Today is a day of healing.
Your mother is here by your side. She’s your best friend, whether you realize it or not. I have heard you. Defendant has heard you. The world has heard you. We’re going to watch you continue to win. Thank you so much for being here.
VICTIM 28: Thank you.