date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
read by court official Ms Liddell
I sit here not knowing where to begin. How do I form these thoughts on paper of how I feel towards the defendant? There’s a part of me that still feels — wait, no, let me correct myself — that remembers him with fondness. He is the doctor. Up until a year ago I remember him as helping me continue my love for the sport I practiced. I ended my gymnastics career and, in turn, seeing him as a patient when I was 21, more than a decade ago. I graduated college, got married, had children. I moved on and away from the situation that became just memories.
I was of many who at first didn’t believe the allegations, then went through the grieving process of realization as to what happened to me. I grieved for myself and for him. I do. I don’t know what it is that it still makes me feel anything but contempt for this man. It is hard to reorganize your memories given what the facts I know now show. It is hard not to say to myself, but how did I not see it?
His career, his family, his community, all of those are gone because of his behavior, the behavior he continued to do over and over for many years. I was one of many, so many, victims.
As a victim of his actions he took away my choice over my own body by disguising his disgusting behavior as a medical procedure. I now look at what he did to me, not with the thought of unusual methods but with the feeling of violation. He violated me.
He violated my body. He took something from me that I will never regain. He took it 18 years ago when he first began performing his procedures, and he took it again when as an adult I realized what he had really done to me, that he had sexually assaulted me.
So I sit here writing my statement to this man; not doctor, but this man. This man who did terrible things to me and terrible things to so many girls and women, and I think how would this affect me now? I will never be completely whole again. I have a daughter of my own that I will now worry too much over — that I will now worry too much over, and it is because of him that these thoughts will occur. He has taken that away from me, too, but he has to live with what he has done. I am one of 10, 20, hundreds that he has to face. He has to hear these messages of contempt toward him and walk away knowing how we all feel. He has to live with this forever, and even though there are parts of me that will always be affected by his actions, I get to walk away and know that I will be a better person because of it.
I will be a better parent because of it. I can walk through life taking this with me and finding a way to grow from it. He, however, can do no such thing. He cannot take back what he did. He cannot take away the pain and the hurt he has caused. He will live with it until his end comes. It is a small fraction of the price to pay, and it is well deserved.
Thank you to the judge and court for allowing me this opportunity.
THE COURT: I want her to know that she may not feel whole, but only a whole person could have written such a strong and wonderful statement, and her choice to speak is so important. She couldn’t see what he was doing and there’s no blame on her. She’s regained her strength, and I commend her for speaking out.