Former patient defends Nassar

By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Former Michigan State and Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was hit with a slew of new sex-abuse charges on Wednesday. Nassar is facing 22 counts of criminal sexual conduct against former patients.

Not every one of Nassar's patients considers his treatment sexual assault. Former Twistars gymnast Valerie Webb says she wants people to understand how Nassar helped her.

"He's an amazing doctor that always tried to help me, help me get better," Valerie said.

Gymanstics has been part of Valerie's life since she was 4-years-old and started training at Twistars. When Valerie got injured, her parents brought her to the doctor everyone recommended and who she met through the gym, Nassar. Now 20-years-old and a college junior, Valerie says she believes she would be paralyzed if it weren't for Nassar diagnosing her spinal condition.

"It was a fracture in the vertebrae and the vertebrae was slipping forward," she explained.

It required multiple surgeries, but in between Valerie says Nassar adjusted her spine using vaginal penetration. She remembers Nassar explaining the procedure as something that would help her alignment, and in turn she says helped her pain.

"At about age 12 he did that for me but I didn't see it as wrong. My mom didn't see it as wrong, she was there for it," Valerie added.

The appointments were monthly and Valerie says her mom was in the room for the first few but after a while she went on her own.

Valerie says her experience is far from the allegations and growing list of sexual abuse charges Nassar is facing.

"I can't speak for them but what I know is that he would never hurt me," she said. "He was trying to help me and that's all I can imagine he was trying to do for them."

News 10 talked to a Michigan doctor who's been practicing sports medicine for 10 years. She did not want to be named, but says the procedure is a legitimate way to treat spinal issues though it is rarely used because it is so controversial. When it is performed she tells News 10 the doctor should wear gloves and have a nurse or other doctor in the room.

"He was not wearing gloves that I recall," Valerie said of her appointments. When asked if there was a nurse or another doctor in the room Valerie said no but added, "why does there need to be another nurse when you're with a very well certified doctor?"

Attorney General Bill Scheutte calls that a crime, but even with the dozens of charges against Nassar, Valerie doesn't see it that way and says she hasn't doubted his procedure as legtimate.

"He would have never hurt me. When I saw this case come to light I was in complete awe because I knew a doctor and I still know a doctor that would have never hurt anyone and that's what i truly believe," she said.

Valerie says she would testify in support of Nassar. She has not reached out to his attorneys but says that's her next step.

Nassar is facing federal sex-abuse and child pornography charges. Investigators say they found hard drives containing more than 37,000 images of porn, thrown in the trash outside his home.

More than two dozen women have joined lawsuits against Nassar.

Michigan State University Police say at least 80 woman have filed complaints with their department alleging Nassar assaulted them.