date of testimony: January 23th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
Statement read by court official Ms Snyder
Dear Honorable Judge Aquilina, the first day I met Larry — Doctor Nassar was my freshman year of high school when I sought treatment from him for chronic foot and back pain. I was a runner who was determined to get relief and answers so that I could participate in track, tennis, and eventually cross country.
Throughout the course of my treatment with him, which continued into my early college years, Doctor Nassar would provide manual treatments and manipulations that sometimes included sexual abuse.
Though I am now in my 30s, I remember these treatments well, and while at the time I thought it was awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, I was so desperate to get answers and be without pain that I buried my questions and concerns.
Doctor Nassar won the trust of my mother who attended every appointment with me and myself by showing us kindness and concern. I know now that this was all a manipulative tactic to create trust in order to perpetrate abuse.
It has been more than ten years since I stopped seeing Doctor Nassar, and though I am now married and in my 30s with three kids and a wonderful life, I still struggle with the ramifications of his actions. Because of his abuse and power I question the medical care I received for years. I struggle to think that he stole precious years of my life and athletic career, not to mention hundreds of dollars in unnecessary medical treatments that he cost my parents.
I mourn the person I was before experiencing his abuse, someone who could trust more freely. I worry for my kids’ safety knowing we live in a world where predators like him disguise themselves as compassionate, caring human beings.
I question how a man with such a gift of healing who had the potential to do such good could abuse his knowledge of medicine and power in the worst way. These are the long-lasting questions and concerns that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I feel that by coming forward we victims of Doctor Nassar can help see that justice is served and save other innocent people from the pain and abuse we faced.
THE COURT: Sarah, I heard what you have to say, and I don’t want you to mourn the person you were. I want you to honor the strong person you are now. You’re a stronger version of yourself, and your voice helps stop the abuse of so many and gives strength to others, and I’m hoping that she hears my words and the words of all her sister survivors and can go forward stronger.
At this point I want to thank her for speaking out and the rest of you for all being here.