date of testimony: January 19th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of first abuse: 16
On September 12, 2016, I was getting ready for bed and was on my phone looking through news articles and came across the article that was published in the IndyStar about Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of abuse. I can still remember reading this and not being able to comprehend what I was reading at first and thinking, there is no way this is true. This can’t be true. I remember telling Steve, did you read the article about the gymnastics doctor, and him asking me. I gave him a brief recount about the victim and what Nassar did to her. I remember him saying something like, it’s a horrible world sometimes. I guess we will see how it unfolds, and then I just dropped to the floor. I swear I went completely blank after that and it almost felt like I blacked out from the world.
I know he asked me if that happened to me and I told him yes but went silent for words for the majority of the night. It was one of those cries so intense that you can’t speak. I was in complete shock and had no idea at the time the immense emotions my body was going through. Steve just kept trying to hug me and I kept pushing away and sobbing.
The next day I went through the workday feeling the worst I had ever felt in my entire life not knowing how I was going to tell my mom.
When I got home from work I took my dog for a walk and then called her. I asked her if she had read the article. She said, no. I explained that I was about to tell her something horrible and that it was not her fault. I told her about Nassar molesting me during the doctor visits at MSU Sports Medicine, when he went down there — when we went down there for my back injury. I told her I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know he molested me until I read the article. She asked me questions like, what do you mean? I was in the room with you. How could he have done this to you while I was there? I had to explain that he must have done it in a way that he could not — she could not see his hands. I asked her if Nassar asked if he could do this to me or if she could think of any reason why this could be? She said no to all of it.
I remember being in complete denial hoping my mom could do what she always does and comfort me as she always does, but nothing she said to me could take away the shock that was running through my body.
I loved gymnastics. I started at the age of seven or eight and was competing level five by the age of nine. It was everything to me to put on my long sleeve leo, warm-up jacket, slick back my hair with an inch of gel, so tightly secured with my scrunchies. I competed all the way through high school. My family devoted so much time to driving me to practice four to five days a week and traveling around this state and country to meets all these years. In August of 2005 I sought out Nassar in hopes of getting treatment for my back. It was recommended I go see him after months and months of pain. He was said to be a world-renowned doctor, the best gymnastics doctor in the world, and made me and everybody that knew him believe he was a doctor that could fix you. Frankly, I was star struck to even be walking into his office.
Doctors of his highest stature and any doctor are to be inherently trusted. I now realize this level of celebrity status was a strong basis for his manipulation.
Between August and December of ’05 I went down to Michigan State Sports Medicine office three to four times. The first time I walked into his office he had me put on these shorts. They had a drawstring but the bottoms of these shorts were really wide. There is no one else in the room aside from my mother and gymnastics coach. When he put his fingers in my vagina and anus he would move my legs back and forth while holding my knee. I remember the pain I felt from him rubbing my legs and back.
I remember this lasting for a long time.
He sexually assaulted me while he was supposed to be healing me. He did this for the pleasure of his own good, not for any other reason.
I ended up getting a bacterial infection after he did this one of the times because he put his fingers from my anus to my vagina without gloves. He never wore gloves when he did this.
I had no idea what he was doing and that it was sexual assault or any type of abuse. As a 16 year old I had never been touched in this way before, but looking back on it now, it is absolutely disgusting to think about. The same thing happened every single time I saw him at Michigan State University.
In January of ’06 I was at my team’s season kickoff meet, the Vegas style invitational in
Lansing, Michigan, hosted by Twistars Gymnastics and the infamous John Geddert. This was always my favorite meet of the year, not only because it was the first meet of the year but also because Twistars was known as the best gym in the state. I always wished my parents would move to Lansing so I could go to Twistars. Little did I know.
It was at this meet that I was sexually assaulted on two separate occasions by Nassar. He took me into the back locker room that connected between the meet and the Twistars’ training gym. I remember my mom asking, do you want me to come with you two? And him saying, no. He had me take my clothes off and molested me on the training table.
He then had me put my leo back on. We went into the Twistars gym while he watched me flip. He molested me again and sent me on my way to my competition.
My vagina was sore during my competition because of this man. How disgusting is that to even say out loud? It baffles me that John Geddert would knowingly allow his team’s doctor to see patients during their hosted meet with no documentation of who Nassar was seeing or what they were being treated for.
Actually, it doesn’t baffle me at all. It makes perfect sense. John Geddert was Larry Nassar’s Bonnie to his Clyde. As much as we would like to sit here and think Nassar got away with this and no one knew, that’s bullshit. John knew.
I went to school at Michigan State University from 2007 to 2011 and graduated with a degree from Elle Brody College of Business. One of the main reasons I chose this school was because I accepted the position of the team manager for MSU gymnastics. I was the manager for the team for three years. I volunteered 20 to 40 hours a week during school to go to all the practices, travel to all the meets, and spend countless hours building team comradery outside of the gym. I loved it. I loved the girls. I loved the dedication, and surely loved being in the gym.
I used to be so proud to tell people I was the manager of the gymnastics team. I gave MSU my everything, but that has all changed now.
I can’t get over the fact that MSU could have done something to prevent this from happening to me and the individuals that turned a blind eye to the monster that is Larry Nassar.
I no longer am proud to have graduated from Michigan State University. I have lost all hope that the institution of this stature is trustworthy and has the students’ and athletes’ best interest at heart.
I have suffered mentally over the last year and a half which has greatly affected my home and work life. Out of no where I become angry and get in fights with my boyfriend about things I never would have in the past. I sometimes take it out on Steve like it’s his fault, but it’s not. I just can’t get this monster out of my head.
I used to be able to work much more efficiently and never let my emotions get in the way of my success. The depression from this has caused me to miss work more than I ever used to and not be able to stay positive on work days.
It is impossible to suppress the negative emotions and anger that are from Nassar’s conduct. I am doing my best to keep this job and pray every day that I get through this. I know I am going to have to seek medical advice to get through all of this. You have to understand, though, it’s not easy even thinking about going to see a doctor. I don’t trust doctors anymore. Now I will always struggle with letting someone who is called a doctor try to fix me.
I feel like I have lost all enjoyment in life. I’ve never been depressed before and used to not think depression was even a thing, until now. I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to go to work. I don’t want to take a shower. I don’t want to go out of my house or do anything.
I used to go do yoga and play sports with my boyfriend and haven’t done any of that since I found out Nassar assaulted me. I used to spend time with my friends and enjoy myself, but I just feel like I am too anxious and stressed out now to be around anyone.
I have lost countless hours of sleep. I have been struggling with the worst nightmares ever. I have lost weight and have trouble eating sometimes because I don’t have an appetite. It’s disgusting.
What Nassar did is affecting my whole life; work, friendships, my family, my sexual relationship, my physical and mental state. It’s hard to see into the future and think that this will not affect me forever. Any way you look at it, I am fearful that if justice is not served, this sets a precedence for other medical professionals out there that could be doing the same thing. All that I can hope for now is that seeing him locked up behind bars for the rest of his life for what he has done to me and all of us will bring some peace in knowing that he will never see the light of day again.
I also strongly hope that me standing here today giving this horrifying impact statement will provide all of the people of this world the strength to know when a monster is in front of your face and that no job, no status, no level of greatness, and no gold medals are worth hundreds of little girls being sexually assaulted. We must find a way to prevent this from happening ever again.
Children are naive and do not have voices, but we as adults do. The force of these other women and myself is fierce. Come hell or high water we will take every last one of you down that could have stopped this monster. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you. Your words, your fierce words, your fierceness will help prevent not only this, what you say is a monster, and I’m agreeing, but using your words, this monster, you will prevent him and others like him with your fierceness.
I need you to leave your nightmares here with him. Between the federal court, this court, and Judge Cunningham, he’s not getting out. You’ve given him a nightmare, one that he will relive over and over again.
You are joining with your sister survivors in strength in numbers. The numbers are growing. And your voice matters. You matter. Get out, enjoy your life, because without that, he’s winning. Don’t let him win.
You’re right, gold medals, all of that, nothing matters. Life matters. You need to live yours. You have a golden life. I want you to live it.
MS. LABADIE: Okay
THE COURT: Thank you. Do that.
MS. LABADIE: Yes.
THE COURT: I love the smile. It’s back. Keep it. Congratulations.
MS. LABADIE: Thanks.