date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
statement read by mother of victim
Thank you for doing this for all the girls. I’m sorry, I had not prepared to speak. I wasn’t planning on doing it today.
I came today to see where I’m supposed to bring my daughter tomorrow. I get very nervous, clearly, and I wanted to know I could get her here, but coming in here and seeing Larry sitting here, I wanted a chance to address him personally.
Do you remember me? Do you remember ********?
Quite a few years ago my daughter came to see you for the first time, recommended by her pediatrician and her coach, Claudia, who both claimed that they knew you well, they were friends of yours, and just like everybody else here has said how wonderful you were and, Larry, you were a good doctor. You were a very smart man. You did know how to help people. Why you did what you did, I don’t know and will never know, other than you were just a very sick man.
But I brought my daughter to you and I trusted you and she trusted you. She loved you. You were her friend and, yes, you damn well should cry because you have broke my daughter’s heart in a million pieces.
When this came out a year and a half ago this lady over here — thank you for your bravery. She’s allowed the world to know what you did, and you had my daughter so fooled, Larry. She believed you were doing what was right for her and, yes, I was sitting right there just like the other mothers. You blocked it from me, too. Damn you.
When this came out a year and a half ago I happened to be out of state, and the timing was interesting because it was Emily’s annual physical with her doctor, and it had been like the day that the news had broken. You know who her doctor is. She said, did you hear the news about Larry? She had no idea what she was talking about, and so she told her, and do you know what my daughter said? He did that to me all the time. She didn’t know you were doing wrong to her. She has a 12 year old girl, for God’s sake. What were you thinking? But Emily loved you so much and believed so strongly in you. She says, mom, he’s such a nice person. He would never do that. He would never hurt anybody intentionally.
She said, I don’t want to hear more about the news. I don’t want to hear more about this story, because he tried to help me.
And so my husband and I tried to respect that. We tried to talk to her about it and explain what it meant and she didn’t want to hear about it. So my husband and I have been living through this year and a half of hell knowing what you did with my sweet little girl in her third year of counseling, suicidal thoughts and attempts, trouble with school, depression, on medication, having no idea where this all came from. She didn’t even know.
And then last Thursday she had a follow-up doctor’s appointment because she had influenza very badly over the Christmas holiday and was being rechecked, and I believe that the day earlier this physician’s daughter had spoken here and she asked Emily if she was following this situation, and my daughter said, no. So Emily came home, got on the live stream feeds, and repeated what had been going on that day, the day before, the day it had started. There she sat up and watched every single one of them with tears rolling down her face. It broke her heart again in a million pieces.
Go ahead and cry. You should.
You had a wife that loved you and three beautiful children. What you did to them, all their families, Larry. It doesn’t just affect these beautiful young girls, it’s our whole family, our friends. It’s disgusting.
So my daughter watched these all night and she couldn’t go to school the next day. She came out in the middle of the night and she says, mom, I had no idea how he really truly violated me. I believed him, and I cannot believe how he has hurt these other girls in this way, and I need to stand up like one of them and talk to the judge and tell her my story.
And she’s coming tomorrow to face you, and you damn well better look her in the eyes and apologize to her.
You gave her presents. I don’t know if you remember the Olympic flag thing. She loved the Fierce Five so much. She was a level eight gymnast with huge dreams. Larry gave her this little tea towel flag thing that he brought back. All the girls had signed it. To us, maybe it’s not a big deal. To this little girl, you could give her a million dollars and she wanted that — that towel was the world to her. It’s encased in this beautiful — had this frame thing. It’s been in her bedroom. She had Jordyn Wieber’s fathead thing on the wall. It meant the world to her. It’s in our basement now facing backwards and, quite honestly, we don’t know what to do with it. Does she keep it and maybe one day to get past this and have that treasure that was so special to her? I want to vomit on it.
My little girl was the little brazen child you called her and so many of us did. She was the happiest child. Even as a newborn baby, she never cried. Happy little girl, loved life. Every teacher in her school said look out if she’s coming down the hall because you will be plowed over with a hug from her, and she did every day. If she saw someone she thought was sad, she would go over and give them a hug, are you okay, can I pray for you? It’s going to be okay. That was my little girl. She’s not like that any more. But after deciding Thursday night that she wanted to come here and speak — we were going to come up here today just to watch, be part of this, get a feel for what was going to happen, and you know where she is? She says, mom, I’m surviving this. I’m going to be strong like Jordyn and McKayla and Aly and all these girls. I am going to school this morning and I’m holding my head up high, and I’m going in early and I’m having a meeting with my teachers before school and telling them what happened so they understand why the last six months last year I would have to get up in the middle of class because I was bawling and nobody knew why. And she did. And I had an appointment this morning to visit with her school principal to tell them what was going on. He sat there with tears in his eyes, a grown man, a principal.
We have a lot of support and we’re going to have a lot more support, but she went to school today. You know what? From school she has an internship at one o’clock at University of Michigan Hospital. She got her CNA last summer because she is so driven. She is only a junior in high school.
She’s working there every day. She’s been accepted to nursing school in California. She wants to help people. She loves people, so she was going to go because they expected her.
She had to give up gymnastics because of injuries, things that weren’t fixed, or incorrectly, so she’s been out of gymnastics now for four years. One of the saddest days of her life to have to go through with that. But it’s five until three. At three o’clock — excuse me, 3:30 this afternoon this is Emily’s first day to go back to the gym. She says, I’m going back. I am joining a gymnastic club and I’m going to go in there and hold my head high and get back into something that I love, and this will not affect me. My life will go on.
Yours will go on. It’s going to suck.
Boy, it’s going to suck, and I’m sorry about that.
But you see what you’ve done to everybody, and I can stand here and name every single thing that you’ve done just like every other woman that’s been here, but I don’t need to repeat all those things because you clearly know, and I don’t have to ask the judge for the highest sentence because I have no doubt you’re going to get what you deserve. I’m just a mom that feels guilty every single day — look at me — because I couldn’t protect her from you. Because you hid from me. You turned your damn body sideways of that towel. She had to use those huge embarrassing shorts. Yes, I hope they all burn those.
I would just like you to say you’re sorry.
THE DEFENDANT: I’m sorry.
Do you mean that?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
Thank you. Thank you, judge, for allowing me the time, and I apologize for being like this.
THE COURT: Ma’am, you’re your daughter’s hero and you are not to blame. You heard the stories of the other parents. Nobody knew. Every parent here wanted to protect their child. It’s not your fault. It is clear where you place the blame, with defendant. You are part of the sister survivor warrior army, and I want you to remind your daughter, if she goes down the path — again, I’m talking about suicide — it gives him the power and quiets her voice. I know yours will never be quieted. We want her to live and be strong. We know she’s strong because you are. You’re helping her to be strong.
Your statement is so powerful, and I have to say, if you ever decide to vomit on that, let everybody know. I think the sisters all want to vomit on it with you along with those shorts. Thank you so much for being here. You are brave and strong. Thank you.
MOTHER OF VICTIM 170: Thank you.