date of testimony: January 18th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of first abuse: 11
I met Larry through John Geddert at Twistars. He was my doctor for quite a while, and then when I was 11, I had a hamstring injury. I couldn’t stand on my right leg so, of course, I went back to Larry to see what was going on, and that was the first time that I was touched inappropriately, on the table, you know, on my stomach, clenching the table. He didn’t explain anything that was happening to me. There was no gloves. Absolutely nothing.
I finished that session with no answers.
It was just, your leg is not good, so I went back to going to the gym, and it was so bad that any time I would stand on it I would immediately collapse. My coaches didn’t understand. I was falling on my head. It was a dangerous situation, but, of course, I trusted my doctor and I trusted my coaches, but it was the first time in my life — I was 11 — the first time I realized that no one cared or no one saw what was happening to me.
I knew something was wrong when I was crying before and after seeing him. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I didn’t understand, and it wasn’t until my dad took me that he never — that he didn’t do it, so every single time he would do it in the room, then my dad took me and then all of a sudden it was MRIs, x-rays, and, you know, partially torn hamstring, and so here I am between 11 and 13 angry that, you know, I’m a gymnast and I want to do well and I didn’t understand for, you know, months and such a long period of time why nothing was being done and that was — that was the end of my career.
When I was 14 I was still unsure of what was happening. I wanted to understand. I knew it was wrong but I began asking even friends of mine who were patients of him — of his, I asked their parents who were in nursing school — you know, I sat there going, you know, I don’t understand why he was sticking his fingers in me. I know there’s tendons, ligaments. I know that there’s things that I don’t understand, but I was trying to find something, and she looked at me and she said, that’s really messed up. That’s just wrong, and that was that, and, you know, her daughter was another patient of his.
I began telling other people. Absolutely no one believed me. I was told I was crazy. I was messed up. I was making stuff up, and it was completely mind-blowing to me that — you know, why someone wasn’t listening to me.
I began to hold it in. I began to lie to myself that, you know, maybe there was a reason for this. I don’t know
THE COURT: This person that you told was another doctor?
She was going to nursing school at one point.
THE COURT: Okay. And did nothing?
Did nothing. Yeah. No one did anything because no one believed me. They didn’t understand how such a respectable doctor would do something like that, and I don’t understand how a 14 year old can make that up.
As I got older, you know, 16, 18 I was going through a lot of self harm, anything and every kind of self destructive problems that I could get my hands on. I was experiencing. I started seeing counselors and, of course, I didn’t mention it because no one else had ever believed me and I knew — I knew it was — but I wanted to heal from — for myself.
After that I started getting better until about last year. Again, with the IndyStar. I was at an airport in Mexico and the minute I read it I dropped my phone and cried the entire way home, because it had been repressed for a while, you know, like the nightmares and everything, and then it’s all come back. For the past year it has been scary, terribly. I live in Vegas by myself and between nightmares, panic attacks, hospital trips, you know, going back to depression, anxiety, I’m terrified of guys. You know, I go out because I try to push myself. I always — I told myself when I was 16 that I wasn’t going to hide behind a rock, I still had to live, I still had to do things, so I constantly push myself, but any time I go out I end up sitting in a bathroom for half an hour to an hour trying to control my breathing and to be okay.
I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m on medication. I’m scared if I go off of my medication, which I have done, I go back to nightmares, waking up in cold sweats, sleeping for three days, and so, yeah, I’m working on it. I’m working on getting better. I’m lucky that I have found a career of teaching yoga and pole dancing that has really helped connect me to other women and people who have experienced the same things, and I try to use that pain and the discomfort that I am feeling and know that we are all in this together and try to help them out.
THE COURT: Ma’am, thank you so much for coming forward. I know it’s difficult. So many survivors have talked about the anxiety, and you certainly have that, but you are poised, you have beautiful words to say, although difficult.
I heard your message in regard to sentencing and what he’s done to you. I know that you need to know that he is going to be put away not by one, not by two, but by three judges. You don’t have him to fear anymore. I’m hoping that your nightmares will not be filled with the strength and the power that you have in your voice. You need to put him behind you so that he no longer takes your power. You have the power. You are the super hero. It takes an extraordinary amount of strength to be here and talk in front of America, and you’ve just done that. You are part of a group of super women whose voices are heard, who will make change, and I think the world right now is ready to hear you and make those changes. I think this will push you forward. Do you feel better?
MS. RASMUSSEN: Yeah. It comes with time.
THE COURT: I have to say — I have to say that looking at your face — I know, dad, you’re not looking directly at her face like I am, but I do see this sense of relief that’s fallen over you just by getting it out.
MS. RASMUSSEN: Yeah. I wasn’t going to come. I wasn’t — I wasn’t going to do it but I had to. I had to do it for myself but also for other — for everyone else.
THE COURT: And that’s an enormous accomplishment. And facing him and saying that is just tremendous, so I believe based on the other victims and victims who have come before me on other kinds of matters that doing what you’re doing now so brave really jump starts that healing in ways you haven’t imagined, and you have so much to accomplish in your life. You are so brave. I look forward to watching you soar. Congratulations, ma’am. Thank you.
MS. RASMUSSEN: Thank you.