date of testimony: January 23th 2018
age at first abuse: 12
dates of abuse: 2006-2013
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
Statement read by court official Ms Liddell
August 9, 2006, was the first day I met Larry Nassar. I was 12 years old. I was referred to his office at the Michigan State University Sports Medicine Clinic for back pain. That day Larry performed a procedure on me, a procedure he told me would feel a little uncomfortable but was completely fine, and that I would feel better after. I came to know that any appointment with Larry meant that he would be performing his procedure no matter what the injury.
My last appointment was just a few years ago, April 13, 2013. He abused me for seven years, many times with my mom or dad in the room.
Larry was someone we trusted and someone who was supposed to be taking pain away when, in fact, he was causing more pain than I ever thought I would feel. I was a dancer and in the ballet community in Lansing. Larry was who you went to see for any pain or injury. He used his position of power and his reputation to manipulate and abuse countless children with no regard for his actions.
When news first broke I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Feelings of shame and anger and sadness all came rushing in as I had to find out that for those seven years what he was doing to me was abuse.
My parents didn’t believe it at first.
They had grown so close to Larry over the years that they emailed him in September 2016 asking if he was okay. His response on September 18th, two days before he was fired by MSU, was it’s amazing how the media has crucified me and now others want to join the bandwagon saying I touched them wrong, too, and asked my parents to please pray for him.
Larry was still so desperate to place blame on others. Even now as I watch him listening to the statements he sits hunched over hiding his face.
Larry Nassar is a coward, but he can no longer hide behind his job or title or reputation. I have not been able to see male doctors.
I spend many nights wide awake trying to stop the memories from coming back. I am reminded every day of what happened to me, what happened to many, many others.
I felt and I still feel betrayed by my alma mater, Michigan State University. MSU has failed time and time again. Their response was to create a fund for counseling and mental health services.
While this is a small step in the right direction, I was made aware of these resources in a mass e-mail rather than a personal phone call. When I asked the university for more information, their response was, call this hotline, find a therapist, send us your receipts. Never an apology. After everything we’ve been through, the university continues to let us down.
This past week has been the most difficult part of this entire process. Hearing each statement made it tangible to me, seeing the other women for who they are, not as a number of victims but strong survivors coming forward to tell their stories. I know that we will overcome this. As we have seen by these statements, these women have become incredibly strong and powerful and will use their voices to stand up for others who are not able to tell their stories.
Judge Aquilina, I ask that you give the defendant the maximum sentence. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you. I have heard you.
I believe you. We all believe you. Your powerful statement made him feel uncomfortable, and I hope it shames and saddens him, but I don’t know how he feels, as I said earlier. Defendant — I agree with your statement, defendant has continued to blame shift, and I’m proud of you for shifting the blame back to him. Thank you for speaking out.