date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of abuse: 16
I want to thank you, Your Honor, for letting me be able to share my truth along with all my fellow survivor sisters. I have been conflicted for some time now about if I should speak or not, and when this case first came to light I was pregnant and I couldn’t handle the added stress and so I just shoved it to the side, but now that my daughter is six months old I feel that I have to do this for her, to teach her that this is not okay, that nothing about this is okay, or what happened to me and the hundreds of other women, it’s not okay.
I’ve known Larry for most of my life, as most gymnasts did, not just because I was a patient of his, which was short lived, but because he was the best doctor around; the one that you would go to for your injuries, the one that my friends and family went to, the only doctor who would understand how you actually got hurt.
When I was 16 years old I was referred to Larry for my injuries that I sustained while in gymnastics. Thankfully, I only saw this monster twice.
The first time was like a normal doctor’s visit as it was about an ankle injury, but the next visit was for my shoulder which I then found out my hips were out of alignment which then made my spine and my pelvic bone out of alignment as well, and this is when Larry decided it was medically acceptable to violate a 16 year old girl. He thought in his sickly mind that it was okay for a grown man to give a 16 year old girl a massage at the end of the appointment and also put my pelvic bone back in place. Larry was so calculated that my boyfriend that I had at the time was with me in that room and he didn’t even notice a thing. He is now a police officer. He didn’t even notice that this man placed his ungloved fingers in an area of my body that he shouldn’t have even been near.
I immediately told him what happened after the appointment and hurried up and got in the car and called my mother. I immediately told her that I was violated by Larry but she didn’t believe me because my sister had been going to him for years before I did. She never said anything to her, so I talked it through — we talked it through together and we figured that it was just his type of manipulation.
Little did we know that the type of manipulation that he was doing was not just to my body and others, but also to all of our minds as well.
After that dreadful appointment I decided to never set foot in his office again. Because of that, I had to deal with my injuries because I sure as hell was never going to let him touch me again.
I feel my own sense of guilt because I was 16 years old and I should have stopped this monster from hurting other girls because I knew that what he did to me was wrong. But Larry was just that good; good at making us feel that he cared for us and our well-being, good at manipulating our minds that what he was doing was a legitimate medical treatment. It is saddening to me to see almost every one I did gymnastics with in this room or has spoken previously.
If I could, I would like to address the defendant.
Why, Larry? Why did you do this to us? Why did you only do it to some of us?
But we will never know the answers to those questions.
Larry, because of you and your actions I am terrified to allow my daughter to be a gymnast one day — and I know she will be because it’s in our blood — because I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone hurt her and violate her the way you did me. But, thankfully, you won’t be around to touch her or any other girl again.
With being a new mom, I couldn’t ever imagine my life without my daughter in it, but look at you now, Larry. You will never live — you will live now without your girls. You will never be able to watch them grow and turn into strong women. I feel for your girls knowing what their father did to so many young women like them. You are a sick man, Larry. I hope you rot in prison, because that’s where you belong, and we all know what happens in prison to child molesters.
Your Honor, I ask you to please give this monster the maximum sentence so then he can never hurt another human being again. The animal needs to be in his cage. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you for those words. You haven’t just taught your daughter but the world a really important lesson, and that is, that we are unraveling the state of medical procedures.
Everybody needs to ask questions and not proceed with anything until there are answers.
Mom, you don’t have anything to feel guilty about, and neither do you. You both were manipulated and fooled like all these hundreds of survivors.
You’re all survivors. The important part is that you came here, that you’re together, and that you talked about it. You have to forgive yourself. Leave all this guilt here with him. He’s heard your words. They’ll be rolling around in his head while you go on and enjoy the new baby, new life, and be happy, and redefining the word medical procedure is so important. Thank you very much for your words.
MS. WAKEMAN: Thank you.