date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
read by court official Ms Liddell, written by the mother Sherry Bradley
Mr. Nassar was my daughter’s doctor from the age of 13 until 17 years old. He worked at MSU, which is one and a half hours from where we lived. He appeared to be this great gymnastics doctor to go to for medical care, so my daughter would frequently go to his office to be seen.
Words cannot possibly describe how I feel about my daughter’s violation by Mr. Nassar. However, I will do my best to put it in my own words.
My daughter is now a victim of sexual abuse, and I cannot tell you how that feels as a mother to know that I did not protect my daughter from such a heinous crime and an insidious monster as Mr. Nassar. When I think about the violation against my daughter, every part of my being screams in agony, terror, and disgust. I was deceived and betrayed by a man that mastered manipulation to get sexual pleasure from my little girl, and to think about the hundreds of other little girls, adolescents, and teens he did this to haunts my thoughts.
I am a clinical social worker who works in residential treatment with trauma victims. 98 percent of the clients that come to the center are victims of sexual abuse. I work in this every day. It is horrible. Most of the perpetrators don’t even get punished. They get away with it because their secret has been covered up. Mr. Nassar got away with it for over 20 years. Oh, my God. How could this happen? When questioned in the past about his behavior it was ignored and swept under the rug. No one hears the voices of the victims. Well, now it is time for the victims to be heard.
I, too, am a victim of sexual abuse. As a mother I have done everything in my power to protect my daughters from this happening, and then to find out it was happening right under my nose in the same doctor’s office that I was sitting in while this was occurring, how could I have not known or seen? My daughter and I trusted this man who was violating her.
I feel so betrayed by Mr. Nassar, and not only Mr. Nassar, but the medical system who was questioned about his procedure and never did anything, as well as USAG who looked the other way. USAG who asked Mr. Nassar to go quietly. My daughter worked her entire life to be a great gymnast and to rise to the top only to be betrayed by the same people and organizations she dedicated her life to and was loyal to the end.
I am so, so disgusted and distraught by this whole situation. I have flashbacks of my own trauma that was triggered by my daughter’s violation. I have visions of this man violating my daughter and I am sick to my stomach with disgust and betrayal. It saddens me to see and to know that such a tragedy has happened to someone that I love so much.
However, I know that even though I feel and think this way of what has occurred over the years to my daughter, I know that, being in the field I work in, that this man is a very sick individual. That just like any addiction, that he risked his entire life to feed his addiction. I am taught to hate the disease, not the person. I have the right to feel and think whatever about the events that have happened to my daughter and to our family and to other gymnasts and their families, to organizations and more. However, I have prayed for Mr. Nassar, his family, and those who care about him. I have chosen to let go and forgive Mr. Nassar for the insidious crimes that were committed to my daughter and so many other girls and their families. I forgive him, but that is not to say what he has done is by any means okay. I forgive him for being the sick man that he is. His life and the outcome of this case has been in God’s hands, and I trust that justice will be served.
I pray for all the victims and the victims’ families and anyone who has been affected by this tragic situation. Thank you for hearing this statement. Sherry Bradley.
THE COURT: Thank them for writing the statement. I hope that those words spoken in public court in front of the world, that they empower mother and daughter to move forward. They faced the predator, and I hope now they can go forward with some kind of peace. Thank you.