date of testimony: January 19th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
I am writing this in response to your actions, Mr. Nassar, for not following proper medical conduct and in result exploiting hundreds of young girls including myself at such a vulnerable time.
The pain you have caused me mentally and emotionally is unexplainable and has been impacting my life heavily, especially these past few months. I am currently a senior in high school. I should be focusing on my classes, exams, upcoming tennis season, and college search. Instead, I am here and have been here for months hoping that after this is all over I can finally be a senior in high school again.
You took advantage of your authoritative powers as my doctor and, as a result, took my innocence instead of healing me. I am hurt and confused as you placed me into a position that not only made me insecure but was extremely inappropriate and uncomfortable.
I remember the anxiety I would have entering the office knowing how the appointment would most likely go and telling myself it was normal to feel that queasy ache in the pit of my stomach, that you were performing those procedures for the right reasons.
I remember telling myself that you were safe and I should trust you with my body as you were a doctor for athletes across the country that I looked up to. My dad is a D.O. and you knew that at the time when I was your patient. When he would show up to my appointments with me, you wouldn’t do your typical procedure that I became used to you performing. I was uncomfortable at the appointments without my father but maintained trust in you as the framed images of the patients on your wall told an incredible story of a great doctor who could heal anyone.
I remember the one appointment that is replayed over and over in my mind and has given me nightmares still to this day. You had me get an x-ray for my hips and back and then checked them out with a strange obsession on how my hips were not fully developed yet and you could tell my period had not started. You then made me change into those strange shorts you had in your cabinet, shorts that were so big I was swimming in and that gave you easy access to my body.
I was told to lay stomach down on the table where you proceeded to stack white towels between my mom and I and adjust the table to an angle where she couldn’t see, which I remember feeling weird about.
I immediately shut down all of those thoughts as I told myself you were going to fix me and that it was okay to feel uncomfortable that you were going to heal my pain. You then pulled my shorts down, moved my underwear over to the side, and started touching me without consent, without telling me what you were going to do, and if that wasn’t bad enough, with your glove-less hands. You had your eyes closed and continued to molest me. After a few minutes of this you just left the room, leaving my mom and I extremely uncomfortable while my bare butt was out. You came back into the room five minutes later with a tube of some kind of lubricant. You then continued this procedure using the lubricant, and I began to feel numb down there. I then at that point wondered how what you were doing would fix the pain I had from jamming my hip after a cross country race? After about 30 minutes of this you smacked my butt, said all right, we’re done here, sweetie, and pulled up my shorts. You said quietly to me that if I was ever on my period during one of your appointments to let you know so you could change things up a bit.
After that appointment I was supposed to go back to school but everything seemed cloudy and I had the urge to shower as I felt dirty and gross. I took a 45 minute shower that day and that feeling never left. I was only 13 years old.
You manipulated me into believing that you were the only doctor that could fix me and I had to have you or no one at all, and for so long I believed that to be true. I still cannot get over the grief that you have caused me by creating the false relationship of trust, and I cannot believe that I felt safe and in good hands when I was with you. You fooled me, telling me of your family stories, telling jokes to attempt to make me more comfortable, and liking my social media posts, some things I now realize were major red flags and should have never been tolerated. I should have went with my gut and told someone that something felt very off, but how was I supposed to know at the age of 13 what was medically acceptable and what the boundaries were?
I am disgusted by your actions and with the fact that even under investigation you had the ability and power to continue these procedures on patients such as I without following the medical restrictions you were placed under.
These few months have been extremely difficult for me as I have been struggling through depression and fighting off suicidal thoughts. I assumed I was going crazy, but after hearing all of these other girls speak I am realizing that I’m not crazy at all and that I am suffering from something you did to me for so many years.
I never used to question the purpose of my life, and I never used to have nightmares about being raped, which is something that I’m now extremely paranoid about even though it has never happened to me. You have placed so much fear in my life, Larry, and I will never be able to get back what you’ve taken from me.
Your actions, along with all of the other actions of abusers in this country, shall not go unnoticed. Trust is a hard thing to earn and personally has been something much harder to have since you molested me. I now know that I cannot second-guess myself when it comes to decisions with my body, and it sickens me to know that I was not the only one who had her innocence taken away without even truly knowing what was going on.
It is horrifying how sick perpetrators like you are given the power to do such terrible things to innocent children for so long and almost get away with it. So many people believed you were innocent as you have brainwashed us all into believing that you were someone of great medical integrity, and I am angry at those who have been shutting down this case for so many years and who have not taken the degree of this sexual abuse seriously.
I used to be sorry. I felt bad that you had to touch me and I grew very insecure. I am so glad that I no longer have to feel bad for you and am glad that you will be paying for your actions the rest of your life. You are now a powerless man. God knows of all the innocent victims you took advantage of and the acts of betrayal you have performed. The Lord is my shield and I know that through him I am capable of all things and that I will persevere through this, and that even the most evil of sins like the ones you have committed cannot destroy who I am and will have major consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. God has spoken to me — God has spoken to me these past few days and I’m finally starting to leave the dark place I have been in for so long. You cannot take advantage of me anymore, Mr. Nassar, and for that I am grateful.
Due to your malpractice and the pain you have caused all victims, I believe that you should be imprisoned for a minimum of 40 years to reflect on what you’ve done.
Your Honor, I would like to thank you again for allowing me to share my statement today.
THE COURT: You are very brave. You’re not in darkness anymore. You’re in lightness. You have just opened doors, along with your sister survivors, for others to speak out, and that’s really important, and he can’t fool you, as you’ve said, but he also can’t fool anybody else who’s heard your words. You’re a tower of strength, and with your sister, who I’m going to hear from in a moment, your sister survivor — you also have all of the sister survivors, you are all in this horrible club, but, you know what? It’s also a great club because you’re all towers of strength who are going to get past this, and your message is being heard by the world, and I know you’re going to graduate, congratulations, from high school and go on to college and keep talking to men and women alike about this, because college is another place where we see this happening over and over again to young people who don’t know or put themselves in bad situations, and I know you will be one of those voices that they will listen to, so you are a proud example. Thank you.
MS. K. JOHNSON: Thank you.