date of testimony: January 22th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at first abuse: 12
statement read by court official Ms Liddell
Gymnastics has always been away of life for me, from the time I can remember getting from point A to point B a cartwheel or a handstand had to be done. I loved the sport and still do.
Being a gymnast growing up helped me develop positive lifelong skills that I still use daily, such as time management, focus, punctuality, determination, and more. However, being a gymnast growing up also negatively impacted my life, especially recently.
Writing this statement is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done for numerous reasons. I feel like I’m writing a statement against a father figure, or whom I thought was a father figure. I feel like I’m reliving my childhood and realizing that a lot of the moments that occurred were horribly invasive and sickening moments. I feel sad that I was taken advantage of at such a young age and for so long.
I’m probably the last person to come forward and the last person to write my statement. I’m the type of person that is private with their feelings and emotions and do not like to see me — do not like people to see me as weak or vulnerable.
Like most, I started gymnastics at a young age with the goal of being in the Olympics. I never met my goal of becoming an Olympian, but I gradually rose through the levels, and as the levels increased, so did the injuries; ankle, back, neck, tailbone, feet injuries. You name it, I had it.
I met Larry when I was eight years old. Everyone referred to him as Larry. Larry was a friendly, smiling face, a person that people felt comfortable around. He made everyone, athletes, coaches, and parents feel like they were his friend and doctor — that they were his friend first and doctor second. He was funny, casual, and seemed like an all around good person.
The first time I saw Larry was at the gymnastics club I attended for an ankle injury. I gradually saw Larry more and more as I progressed through the levels and injuries increased. It wasn’t until I was around the age of 12 when I started having back pain that I received my first treatment, as everyone is referring to it as.
This was the first time Larry touched me inappropriately. He had me pull down my leotard to my hips and had me lay face down on the examination table. He started by looking at my hip placement and then told me my hips were out of place and they needed to be aligned. Ungloved, he massaged my lower back, buttocks, outer thighs, and then my inner thighs.
This was the moment I still remember like it was yesterday. As he massaged my inner thighs he gradually moved closer and closer to my privates, as I referred to it at the time. He massaged right next to my vagina and then he inserted a finger into my vagina and massaged the inner wall of my vagina. I remember jumping and tensing up and arching my back out of fear and Larry saying it was part of the procedure to get your hips aligned. He continued for what felt like forever but I believe it was only 15 to 20 minutes.
When he was done, he checked my hips again and said they were back in place and that he would need to continue treatments along with exercises he provided to help keep them in place.
After receiving this treatment from Larry so many thoughts ran through my head. Why did he have to do the things he did? What does my vagina have to do with my back? Am I going to be okay down there? I received these treatments from Larry for as long as I can remember, about once a week for five to six years. Sometimes the treatments would be vaginally and sometimes rectally and using more than one finger.
At first it felt awkward, scary, weird, invasive, and just not right, but Larry was a highly respected doctor in the gymnastic community and everyone always talked about how we were lucky to see him and how he fixed us, as the gymnasts referred to it as, but even knowing this, I still knew in my head that what he did just didn’t feel right. However, my anxiety decreased as my teammates started talking about their treatments with Larry and they were very similar to mine.
When I was around 14, after having a conversation with my teammates, I remember thinking to myself, so they are real treatments and I have nothing to be worried about. Eventually the treatments became part of my normal life. Not something I the wanted to do but something that was supposed to help me heal and be able to continue gymnastics, my true love. It was like going to the dentist, no one likes going to the dentist, but we all have to do it. It was routine. After practice on Mondays I would get in line to see Larry and continued this until I graduated from high school.
My contact with Larry didn’t end when I graduated. I lost someone close to me and Larry was like a father figure to me for many years. We would have conversations about life. He would call in prescriptions for me. He would provide medical advice. He was always there if I needed something. Larry was a part of my life for over 20 years.
Larry and I kept in contact with each other until the middle of 2016. Contact ended once the first allegations came forward. I had to admit, when I saw the allegations I was upset and actually stood up for Larry, but as others came forward I began to realize that my treatments with Larry were very similar.
Soon I had major news agencies calling me for statements in which I declined to answer. I was tagged on every Facebook post regarding Larry. I was getting messages asking about Larry. It was all too real to me and I wasn’t ready to relive many years of my childhood.
I deleted my Facebook. I ignored the news. I ignored questions about Larry. I wasn’t ready. As someone who has suffered with anxiety, depression, and insomnia since a teenager, I finally realized why. I realized that my 12 year old self was right about how I felt. I realized I should have told someone. I realized that I was a victim of child molestation, but my molestation wasn’t just once, it was weekly. It was routine. I felt disgusted, sick.
I couldn’t think. I couldn’t work. I wanted to run away from it all, but most of all, I felt betrayed.
I still kept what Larry did to me to myself even from my own mother, not because I didn’t want to tell her, but because I felt like I was the one that allowed it to happen and I didn’t want her to feel like it was her fault.
Eventually I spoke to my best friend about Larry and she told me to do what I felt was right.
At first I wrote a letter to myself explaining how I felt and how Larry’s treatment affected me. I read it for months before finally telling my mother and then eventually calling authorities and reporting Larry.
I have so many emotions and I don’t even know — I don’t know where to even end this statement. I am so sorry for the other victims of Larry and pray everyone receives justice and also therapy as this is something that will never end. Court will eventually be over and life will continue, but it will never be over — but it will never be the same for Larry Nassar’s victims. This is something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. It affects our every day life, our thinking, or trust, who we are as people, and who we are as victims of child molestation.
I pray for Larry’s family and children as they do not deserve any of this. I know I have felt very alone the last year even though there are hundreds of women and children going through the same thing. The only way to heal is to share and to keep others from doing the same thing Larry has done. No child should have to go through the things we have and no adult should have to relive a traumatic childhood past.
I have a younger daughter, and I looked at her and I decided to tell my story, not for the money, not for me, not for my mother, but for her.
All I can say is, Larry, you found a way to take all of us in the palm of her hand and make us feel like you were the healer of it all, but also acted as a friend and someone we could tell our secrets to. We were all children. We believed you. We thought what we were doing was for our betterment and healing, while the entire time it was for your self gratification. My dad is rolling in his grave because of what you did to me.
I’m Jane B42 Doe, but, Larry, you know exactly who I am.
THE COURT: Please tell her she is not alone. I have heard what she has to say, and I am very honored that she felt ready to share her story publicly, but not just with this court but with the world.
She courageously joins her sister survivors in sharing her story and adding to the strength of the army. Please thank her.