date of testimony: January 23th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at first abuse: 14
I would like you to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak and for your kind gestures and encouraging words.
The sole reason I stand before you is to make sure that the defendant is granted the time he deserves and to bring attention to how crucial cases like this are. Not only do they greatly impact everyone involved, but all the young girls and women out there that have or will go through a similar situation in their lifetime, they need to know that no matter what, their voice matters and their voice can make a difference.
In this moment I would like to specifically address one instance where the defendant used his good nature and what seemed like sincere care to prey upon me as a young girl.
In the summer of 2015 I started developing back pain. My first instinct was to immediately contact the defendant. I seen him for every gymnastics injury I’ve ever encountered so there was no doubt in my mind that he would take care of me. We reached out to him and, sure enough, we were amazed at how quickly he altered his schedule to see me the very next day.
My parents both had to work but the defendant assured them that he would drive me to his office at MSU Sports Medicine, check me in, and determine what the problem was. He was a well-known family friend, community member, and gymnastics doctor to many so my parents rightfully agreed.
Upon entering the car when he arrived at my house he greeted me with a stack of papers. My excitement rose as I realized it was multiple pages filled with information about my lifelong dream, a modeling career. How thoughtful, I remember thinking. However, I did not understand that he was only acting as my friend to gain my trust. I did not understand that he was using my weakness for something I was so excited about against me. Most importantly, I did not understand that he had a different idea in mind for what this appointment was going to consist of.
I vaguely remember reaching the office and being told that it would waste too much time checking in at the front desk so we were going to sneak in the back door. I contemplated this for a moment but came to the conclusion that he was simply trying to give me maximum healing time. Multiple MSU Sports Medicine employees greeted us with a smile or a waive as we entered the hallway from the back door of the office. I’m dumbfounded that not one of those employees were alarmed at the sight of an older male taking a young, clueless 14 year old through a strictly employee only entrance with no parents present.
He quickly lead me to his room and shut the door behind us. So here I am alone in a closed up room with a male doctor that is at least 35 years older than me and not one of those employees cared to question it. Here is where the defendant performed his so-called medical procedure. I remember wearing nothing but a leotard as the defendant told me I would need minimum clothing on. I remember thanking God when the appointment was finally over.
On the way back he played all my favorite songs and offered me licorice so I wouldn’t second-guess it. It was from this day on I started to fear seeing my own doctor. Although seeing him brought great discomfort from this man, I granted him the benefit of the doubt. I continued to see him but every time resulted in a little more unease. It got to the point where I would rather come home from practice in tears rather than having to face the defendant again. My mom would encourage me to text the defendant to fix me but deep down I couldn’t. I quickly dismissed the idea and told her I was fine.
To this day I do not follow up on anything to do with my scoliosis because I do not want to be associated with those memories or treatment in any way.
May I address the defendant, Your Honor?
I will not call you Larry. I will not call you Mr. Nassar, and I will certainly not call you a doctor because a real doctor is a hero not a pedophile. I will call you nothing but defendant because, frankly, I don’t think you’re worthy of a name.
You have taken hundreds of joyous little girls’ childhoods and scarred them with memories of disgust. You’re the definition of a two faced individual.
You mastered the mask of a good man because that’s what you wanted everyone to see you as. Your whole life has been filled with nothing but fake relationships and temporary happiness. Tell me, was it worth it? You have to sit here and see countless courageous women standing up to you for all the horrible things you did to them, all while they are accompanied by dear friends and family. You have to sit here and watch everything you’re not. You have to sit here and witness the connection of love and support that you will never be able to obtain again.
You hurt plenty of young girls, but do you realize by doing so you hurt your own family? You damaged them so bad that they, the only people who would ever stay by your side, left you. I go to school with one of your daughters, and let me tell you that the first thought that comes to my mind every time she walks into my classroom is the unfortunate pitiful image you’ve bestowed upon yourself. You didn’t just betray us. You betrayed your loving wife and your wonderful kids. They needed you, but I guess you needed yourself more.
Now I would like to share a Bible verse.
Genesis 8:1. But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark and he sent a wind over the earth and the waters receded. As a Christian I believe everyone serves a purpose on this earth. I think the defendant’s purpose was to draw attention to child predators so we can start the fight to stop them, see all these great suffers as the win to shut down the bad guys. This is the start of a battle that needed to be fought long ago, but I know in my heart that God was simply waiting for the strongest women to fight it for him. That’s all I have to say.
THE COURT: Ma’am, your purpose is to keep talking, to be the leadership in your sister survivor army. I will remember you and your voice and what you are asking.
Your voice is going to help heal not only yourself but so many countless others. You’re part of sending that rippling effect to the world that we will not stand for child predators, especially in the medical field anymore, and people need to keep talking about that.
Your voice has been heard. You are beautiful and strong, and you will attain so much in your life. You have such composure. You have a gift. You know that in your heart, and I look forward to seeing you on the cover of those magazines.
MS. BRENNER: Thank you.