Emma Ann Miller
date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
years of abuse: 2011-2016
May it please the court, my name is Emma Ann Miller and I am 15 years old. Today I am going to talk about my relationship with Nassar, and I’m going to talk to Nassar and I’m going to give him some advice.
I’m also here to talk to you, the court, and I’m going to give this court some advice. And I also want to talk to MSU to give them a forewarning.
Your Honor, it’s always been just my mom and I. I needed a positive male role model in my life. Nassar filled that spot for me. He has known me since my mom gave birth to me and has watched me grow up. I trusted him like a family member. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t know Larry Nassar. But now I wish I never met him.
I saw him once or twice a month at my mom’s appointments and then later when I was 10 I was a monthly patient treating for a back injury. He was a world-renowned doctor. I was honored to be a patient, but, more importantly, a friend of his. He even had a nickname for me, goofball, but this nickname will forever haunt me with the trauma he has caused me
He put my picture up on his wall with the Olympians. I thought I mattered to Larry. I thought I was special. You made us all feel like we were special, but not in the way we wanted to be special.
I, too, was sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar multiple times at multiple appointments. My last treatment was in August 2016. A week later he was let go by MSU. I’m possibly the last child he will ever assault.
MSU Sports Medicine charged me for those appointments. My mom is still getting billed for appointments where I was sexually assaulted.
May I address the defendant?
I have never wanted to hate someone in my life but my hate towards you is uncontrollable. Larry Nassar, I hate you. I will work on forgiving you as I know that is what God wants, but at this moment I will leave forgiveness up to him.
There is one thing you could do to help with the forgiveness. Instead of just sitting there acting weak and feeble, you could start writing down each and every time MSU, Twistars, and USAG could have stopped you. And instead of getting up at your sentencing giving some hollow, insincere apology, you could outline all the times for me, for us that MSU, Twistars, and USAG should have stopped you.
You were too brazen, too cavalier. You flaunted it. Don’t try to apologize or rationalize. Don’t use cliches like a match in a forest fire. If you want to stop it yourself, you need to begin the reformation process. You need to do redeeming acts. You need to put others first.
Do the right thing for us. Be honest. Try and help us. Tell us who knew what and when. Tell us how and when their opportunities were to stop you. Tell us about the telltale signs that others at MSU, Twistars, and USAG should have seen but didn’t. In one of your last public acts actually help someone.
Of course, we are aware that some knew, but there are likely many, many more opportunities these institutions and individuals had to stop you long before Rachael and the IndyStar article surfaced.
You could talk about the time Coach Klages called you to discuss the allegations that Larissa Boyce made about you sexually assaulting her back in 1997, or the conversations that you had with Strampel. See, I’m familiar with what Mark Twain said about rumors, that a rumor travels halfway around the world. If you aren’t familiar with Twain, trust me, you’ll have time to look it up.
So don’t tell us that you never got that phone call from Klages. Someone like Larissa Boyce doesn’t make an assertion like she did against a doctor like you to your friend Klages of sexual assault and it just sits there. We know you two spoke about it. We know you had a phone call. Please, Larry, help my sisters. This would be a redeeming act.
Please don’t waste your allocution on your grief, your regret, or any other emotion. Don’t tell us how you and God have made amends or how you are different. You need to confess the facts. You can help others, and if you do, if you help my sisters, it might help in my forgiveness and maybe others. It might not lower your sentence, but it might just start you down a road of reformation and redemption. Just remember, Larry, it’s never too late to do the right thing.
Now to the court, I am more than how he treated me. I am not letting him take any more time away from me. No more time at appointments. No more time being afraid, and no more time being manipulated. Years of monthly appointments, including the supply room — yeah, the supply room — is long enough. Do you think that is long enough, judge?
THE COURT: I think it’s long enough. It’s over.
MS. MILLER: And so here is some advice, judge. Don’t be afraid. A 40 year minimum sentence is not long enough and it doesn’t send the right message. See, judge, I doubt that the Attorney General, this court, or his defense attorneys knew what was coming allowing all of us to speak. None of you could have anticipated the breadth or the depth of the statements. But he knew. It is the reason why he wrote the letter. He knew it was coming, and just like he should have been, he was afraid.
And, judge, I’ve heard you say that he will rot in prison, that he will not see the light of day again, but this is not true. When his day of judgment comes before you, you are not sending him to a place to rot and you are not stopping the light of day from coming to Nassar. No, judge. You’re going to save his life. He will go to federal prison. In fact, he’ll be treated fairly well in prison. I know and Nassar knows that federal prison is the best place for him. He will likely make friends. He will be able to manipulate and maybe earn some semblance of respect among the prison inmates that are his new counterparts. He will be fed. He will be clothed, and he will be provided actual medical treatment. But don’t get too excited, Larry. You’ll probably never talk to a woman again, except for one holding a gun, a taser, and a billy club, which is a good thing. I am smart enough, wise enough, and been advised enough that simply because he treated us indespicable and in inhumane ways doesn’t mean that we, our system, treats the worst of the worst worse.
But, Your Honor, just for a moment could you imagine what kind of life he would live if he wasn’t in prison? He would have to face his accusers in the grocery store, at the gas station, and in the pews at mass. Anywhere and everywhere. My sisters would be there just like they are today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and every tomorrow until the end of his days, and it would include all women and men anywhere and everywhere. It would be the type of punishment that is outlawed by our constitution. It would be cruel and unusual because his life and his health would be in jeopardy, but that is not who we are. Just because he failed to treat us with process and procedure, just because he treated us like an object doesn’t mean that we are reduced to him.
Nassar has something few people can do in their lifetime, like how Kleenex is actual a corporate brand that many use in every day vocabulary to describe a tissue, he has forever identified his name with child sexual abuse. His legacy as a medical God has been poisoned by his sickening desire to molest children. Long after the Olympic gymnast doctor fades into a trivia fact known only by us or a Jeopardy contestant, the word Nassar will permanently be associated with child sexual abuse. Kind of like Jack the Ripper, Son of Sam, or Lee Harvey Oswald.
You get the picture.
But this for me is not about Nassar — well, maybe a little bit. His sentence will for me say more about you. I know you are a mother and we have heard from a number of mothers. I know you are a lawyer and we have heard from a number of lawyers. Like you, strong successful lawyers. You have served our country in the noblest of way in the military.
Some of us are or have served in the military. You have overcome and all of us, yes, all of us have overcome. I suspect that you, too, could post Me Too and all of us post Me Too.
In regards to actually sentencing defendant, you have handed out life sentences with no opportunity for parole for defendants convicted of murder, and like those defendants, we know that Nassar knows. We know that Nassar has been the cause of some of my sisters’ untimely deaths or attempted suicides.
Have you sentenced other defendants to longer sentences? Your sister, Judge Neff, sentenced him to 60 years for a heinous crime but not as bad as to what you have been exposed to over a week. I don’t think anyone believes that having a picture on your computer is even close to taking an underaged patient into a supply room to be sexually assaulted. Does anyone really think that? So, judge, you may be able to guess what I’m going to say but say it I will. No one is better suited to sentence this defendant in this case right here right now in this moment. Maybe, just maybe, God works in mysterious ways, that your whole life has been leading up to this moment, but I suspect that you had many moments like this in their own unique way.
So here’s the deal, I know that if you exceed the plea agreement Nassar has the right to withdraw his plea, and then he would have to make a decision, either go to trial or accept the sentence.
Make him have to make that decision. That might be the only real punishment that Nassar faces in this case besides having to sit through my sisters’ compelling, tearful, and beautiful statements.
Statements that are all gold medal winners, by the way.
We know that he doesn’t want to face us. He told you in his letter. I’m not afraid of him. My sister survivors are not afraid of him. Please, don’t be afraid to do the right thing and send the right message.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, 40 years is not enough. Any message that you send at this point will be heard around the world. Send one that reflects the gravity and devastation that he has caused, a minimum sentence of 125 years. He should be grateful for such a sentence.
Now to MSU. Are you listening, MSU? I can’t hear you. Are you listening? My name is Emma Ann Miller and I’m 15 years old and I’m not afraid of you nor will I ever be. At 15 I shouldn’t know the inside of a courtroom but I’m going to become real comfortable in one, so should you. See, MSU, sometimes circumstances determine our fate and sometimes we determine the circumstance. I, like all of those that have spoken or will speak, didn’t choose this circumstance to have the right to be standing in front of this podium today. Nassar made that choice for us; your 20 year child molesting employee. This is a burden at 15 I shouldn’t have to bear, but believe me, MSU, bear I will.
As Nassar’s story fades into a federal prison cell for the rest of his life, my story, our story, mine and yours is going to be titled Miller versus MSU. I know you write books, Your Honor. What do you think of chapter one, don’t piss off 150 women that you’ve sexually assaulted for 20 years?
Let me get back to the point. MSU, it’s time for me to determine the circumstance and that circumstance is going to be pointed right at you. Yeah, right at you, MSU. I don’t have to be ashamed or anti-MSU. I can be a Spartan if I choose. I can yell go green. Go green. Let me say that again, judge, because I don’t think the crowd heard me. Go green.
I can root for Miles Bridges if I want and still hold you, MSU, accountable. And I will. You are no more powerful than Nassar. You don’t hold any power over me either and never will. And not just MSU, but all the individuals who could have stopped this, every single one of them.
We know there are many that could have stopped this. We also know that you, MSU, know that denial is not just a river in Africa. I have heard your denials but I will not rest until I hear more, until every single fact and stone is uncovered in painful, excruciating detail.
You’re going to want to squeeze your eyes shut like some of my sisters did and grab on to something tight like some of my sisters did, like you’re being bent over in a supply room with a 50 something year old creep sliding his ungloved hand into your most intimate, sacred privates, and the best part, my story entitled Miller versus MSU, the most uplifting, inspirational part, I know I’m not alone and I believe this is not over. See, Your Honor, we — we are just getting started. Thank you.
THE COURT: Ma’am, you could write books. You’ve got the headline.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
THE COURT: I hope you do write that book.
I think it would be uplifting. You are very prolific. Your words are as strong as any gun, taser, or billy club. You need to keep on talking. You’re very special. You are.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
THE COURT: Much older than your age. Your sister survivor warriors stand with you. Thankfully defendant is not a cat with many lives.
I know you want me to go outside of the plea agreement, but with the plea agreement, with three strong judges who have heard your message and the message of all of the army of survivor women, he’s not going to harm anyone, and contrary to the statements that being in federal court — or federal prison, the federal system is no picnic. Maybe for Martha Stewart because she baked well, but I assure you there isn’t anyone in prison who hasn’t heard about this case, who hasn’t heard your voice, and if they haven’t heard it, they will. They have families out there. They take your words seriously, even behind bars. So it will not be a picnic for him as you imagine.
Your words, your advices are as wise as any detective, lawyer, or prosecutor. Maybe one day I’ll see you practice law in front of me. I don’t know what your plans are, but you are going places despite defendant. You have an enormous rippling effect on the world.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
THE COURT: And with your sister survivors you stand stronger and stronger and this tower of strength is getting larger, wider, deeper, taller. Keep talking. And, you know, you are one of the people who stood in front of me and you’re healing yourself every time you talk, and every time your mother hugs you, I feel your mother is taking away your pain. Your words have taken away — leave your pain here and go out and do those magnificent things I know you were born to do. Thank you so much for being here.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.