date of testimony: January 19th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of first abuse: 15
Thank you, Your Honor. I am here today to talk with you about my experiences with Larry Nassar at Michigan State University Sports Medicine when I was 15 years old.
I was a swimmer and having issues with my lower back. During my visits to MSU for back pain Larry claimed that I needed pelvic adjustments. He would have me lie on the exam table, face up, and place my legs open like you would during a vaginal exam but without stirrups. He would move his fingers around the outside of my vagina and anus. Then he would insert his fingers into my vagina and move them around inside of me as well as move his fingers in and out. While his fingers were inside of me he would also apply pressure with his other hand to the outside of my lower abdomen and massage the inside and outside of my vaginal area. This happened visit after visit.
Saying this out loud to you is extremely uncomfortable for me and I am sure for everyone who is listening. It is supposed to be uncomfortable. I would be doing myself and the other brave women here a great disservice by shying away from what is now my truth.
As I discover that this invasive treatment was not in the best interest of my health, I cannot help but reflect on the impact the entire treatment plan had during an impressionable time in my life.
At the age of 15 I was naive to sexual intercourse and recall pain and embarrassment. I had my mom or dad in the room that, to my humiliation, witnessed this happening all under the impression that they were taking me to the best available.
The impact this has had on my family is indescribable. My parents, who had my best interest at heart, will forever have to live with the fact that they continually brought their daughter to a sexual predator and were in the room as he assaulted me.
I wonder if the treatment plan Larry created was intended to keep me coming back in order to continue the assault? As I look back at the treatment I remember I did not find relief with the methods that he used. I was in a full back brace and on crutches under his treatment plan. I was a sophomore in high school and I experienced a magnitude of harsh mocking from my peers because of the large brace over my clothes paired with the crutches. This led to a multitude of hurdles including a lack of confidence and difficulty in social situations that I still face today.
I visited a therapist to discuss these issues, and I believe I will need to continue therapy for these issues as well as the realization that I am a victim of sexual assault.
The impact this continued assault had on my childhood and my growth as an adult is something I’m forced to confront and will cope with indefinitely.
My perspective of medical professionals is damaged, and I have a difficult time trusting treatment opinions because I feel that I have been deceived, manipulated, and used to satisfy Larry’s sexual desires.
I will never regain what I’ve lost, and I will learn to cope with the lack of faith in a system that failed me, from Larry Nassar to the institutions that supported him for many, many years.
As an alumni of Michigan State University I am disgusted to my core that this man was able to harm so many under their responsibility. The pride I had in my alma mater is tarnished and diminishing as this continues to progress.
I didn’t choose to stand and publicly share my story until earlier this week. Last year when headlines started coming out about the assault and I had filed my report I was sitting alone for lunch at McCallister’s Deli. It was crowded, and the ladies sitting at the table next to me were having a conversation about their friend, Larry. I sat frozen as they talked about these girls who were making up these lies just for the attention. Little did they know that one of those girls, who I promise you would have been very happy with no attention at all, was sitting next to them with tears falling down onto her plate.
As I stand here today I am not the woman sitting in McCallister’s unable to find the voice to give these grown women a piece of her mind. I am also not the 15 year old kid afraid of disappointing the adults in her life. I am able to stand here today in front of my abuser with an army of strong, powerful women behind me asking that this man that hurt all of us withers away for the rest of his life.
I have a choice to make every day on how I will grow, and while we all are moving mountains, you, Larry, will have no choice but to sit in prison and wait to die. Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you so much. You aren’t just moving mountains, you are saving other’s lives as well who have heard your strong voice. You are strong and powerful to the core. You are competent. You are more than just a survivor victim. I think you are unstoppable.
Your words ring so true, and they are meaningful beyond this courtroom, beyond this town. Across the world people are hearing you and you are making a difference. You’re not letting those other people who didn’t listen to you, who didn’t want to listen to you, who are in that next booth not knowing who you are, they know who you are. We have heard you. You are strong. You’ve made a tidal wave and it’s growing.
Thank you so much for being here. You’re amazing.
MS. ANDERSON: Thank you, Your Honor.