date of testimony: January 19th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of at first abuse: 12
date of abuse: 2010-2016
My name is Alexis Alvardo and my childhood innocence was stolen from me at the hands of Larry Nassar at the age of 12. When I first met Larry he seemed nice, caring, and easy to talk to. He would often give me little gifts such as autographed photos of famous coward Gymnasts which made me feel special as though he actually cared.
I vividly remember one of my first appointments with him which took place in 2010. I remember it so clearly because at this appointment he inserted his ungloved fingers into me supposedly to treat my back pain. I remember telling him that it really hurt, and he responded by telling me to relax as he continued to the abuse. He then asked if my back felt better. I lied and said yes in the hopes that it would stop.
Afterwards, I remember going into the bathroom and feeling as though something was wrong, but he was a doctor and I trusted that he was there to help me. To this day I still vividly remember the feeling of guilt in my stomach and the pressure on my chest. I was only 12.
This abuse continued for six years. Many people have questioned why I didn’t say anything about this sooner. I was only a child when this abuse first started. I didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong, and I was taught that it is not okay for anyone to touch you down there unless it’s a doctor, and you were a world-renowned doctor.
You betrayed my trust in the most vile way possible. I actually believed the lie that somehow this was my fault and I deserved it. I know now that that is not true.
My little cousin is only 13 and she is so innocent and small. I was a year younger than her when you started abusing me. I know now something like that couldn’t have been my fault.
I saw Larry from 2010 to 2016. In 2014 there was a Title IX investigation into the treatment he was performing. During this investigation he was cleared of all wrongdoing and was supposed to have someone in the room during all appointments, and he was supposed to limit skin to skin contact in sensitive areas. Had my parents been informed of this in 2014 I would not have gone back to see him.
I would now like to address individuals and organizations that enabled him.
To Kathie Klages. I remember coming to your MSU gymnastic camp. I looked up to you and admired you, but, unfortunately, you failed me and so many others. You were a mandated reporter and you failed to report. If I were you, I would feel pretty guilty right about now for allowing so many young, innocent lives to be ruined.
To Brooke Lemmen. I saw you as a patient when Larry was out of the country. I trusted you and you betrayed me as well. You removed confidential patient files from the office, and you have the nerve to call yourself a professional.
To John Geddert. You are as much of a monster as Larry. You also were a mandated reporter and you failed to report. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Lastly, I would like to address Lou Anna Simon. Why are you not here? I do not want to hear another bullshit excuse from you that you are too busy or you don’t want to take away from us. You need to be here to listen to us. You are part of the reason we are here for not stopping this. You are a coward for not showing your face.
You, along with Michigan State University, claim that you were unaware of what was happening. My question to you is how could you not know when there was so many people made aware of this? I have never been so disappointed in Michigan State University than I am right now.
To you, Larry, you betrayed my trust and used my innocence against me. You broke and shattered my life. You’re a coward. The past 16 months have not been easy for me as I have tried to cope and come to terms with what you did to me at such a young age. Every day I have to live with the consequences of something that I had no control of.
I have suffered from depression, anxiety, tremendous guilt, embarrassment, and even suicidal thoughts.
It has been so difficult for me to get a good night’s sleep without seeing your face in my dreams. I was also very concerned to have people know what you did to me for the fear of being judged, looked at differently, or looked at like I was damaged. All of those things became so overwhelming to the point that I was admitted inpatient at a psychiatric hospital. If you really think you’re on the verge of a mental break down, news flash, it sucks, and I hope you suffer through it just as I did.
My relationships have been strained. I am fearful of being alone with men and especially male doctors. My grade and GPA have drastically dropped. I am still working on overcoming all of these challenges, and it is definitely not an easy process.
I was lucky enough to find my boyfriend, his family, and their friends. They have given me tremendous love and support. They do not judge me and they do not look at me like I am broken. They love me for who I am, and for that I am grateful.
Also, Larry, I would like to make it very clear, this is not Judge Aquilina’s so-called circus that you called it. This is your hell and I hope you burn in it.
I have felt so many emotions this past year, some including anger, sadness, guilt, betrayal, and blame. I found most of my anger toward you, Larry. I was so angry and confused about why you would intentionally hurt me or anyone else. Because of you I will never be the same. However, this does not define me. I’m stronger than you, and I will make it through this.
You are a monster, and I believe that you’ll get what you deserve while I spend my lifetime healing and enjoying my life.
I’m still working on being able to forgive you, but today I do not have it in me at all. It is hard for me to even look at you without remembering what you did.
I know that when I decide to have kids I’m going to raise them to be strong individuals. I will educate them on monsters like you and make sure they know how manipulative and disrespectful predators really are.
I still have a question as to why. Why would you do this? Do you regret throwing your whole life away for this? Do you have any remorse for what you did? Do you regret not being able to ever see your children grow up? Because of you they will grow up without a father, and that’s on you. I know that I will never have answers to these questions, and that is something that I’ll have to live with.
Being in court today is just one step towards justice for us, but there is still many individuals that helped enable Larry, and I believe that eventually the truth will come out and they will be held accountable. Nothing will ever be able to change what has already happened, but having Larry behind bars for the rest of his life will ensure that another young, innocent life doesn’t get ruined. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you very much. You say you’ll never be the same. No. You’ll be better. You are courageous. You are powerful. You are tremendous. You have pulled together those shattered pieces. I know you don’t feel that way now, but I think from here on out you will feel taller and stronger every single day. You have just taken your power back.
You also need to know that the best revenge — I know you didn’t ask for revenge, but ultimately putting him behind bars the rest of his life is a bit of revenge, right?
MS. ALVARDO: True.
THE COURT: And I will make that decision. I appreciate your words. It will help me at sentencing, but here’s the thing, I’ve always felt — because I’m not always favored or liked either — I don’t give a damn, just like you shouldn’t, but here’s the thing, the best revenge is success, is speaking out, is doing exactly what you’re doing.
You are a million feet tall right now and you’re going to stay that way and get stronger, and you need to tell yourself that every single day.
The other thing that you’ve just done is publicly told the world that mandatory reporters be wear, we want you to do your job. We expect you to do your job, so I appreciate that, and thank you very much for being here.
MS. ALVARDO: Thank you.