LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Woman after woman recapped their abuse, and the impact which often included; nightmares, thoughts of suicide, physical health issues, and even left some relationships destroyed.
The woman whose testimony led to the arrest of Larry Nassar was the first to speak at his sentencing today. Kyle Stephens parents were friends with the Nassars. He molested her when she was just six years old.
"Without my knowledge or my consent, I had engaged in my first sexual experience by kindergarten. You used your power as an adult to manipulate me, you used my body for six years for your own sexual gratification, that is unforgivable," Stephens said.
It tore Stephens' family apart because her parents believed Nassar over her when she finally told her them about the abuse, six years after it started. "Larry Nassar wedged himself between myself, and my family, and used his leverage as my parents' trusted friend to pry us apart until we fractured," Stephens said.
It wasn't until she was about to leave for college that her family finally believed her. But by then her father, who had debilitating health issues, was so distraught with shame for defending Nassar that he took his own life.
Stephens told Nassar she's been waiting for this day for years.
"I've been coming for you for a long time. I've told counselors your name so they'd report you, I've reported you to child protective services twice, I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges and now as the only non-medical victim to come forward I testified to let the world know you are a repulsive liar."
She continued to say, "perhaps you have figured it out by now... little girls don't stay little forever... they grow into strong women that return to destroy your world." Stephens also had a few words for the judge and said the law doesn't do enough to prevent predatory acts or punish predators.
She said while there is no amount of time Nassar can be given to repair the damage he's done to her, Stephens urged the judge to give him a minimum of 40 years instead of the 25 years allowed under the plea agreement.
After Stephens spoke Judge Rosemarie Aquilina had a few words of her own, as she did with each survivor who came forward after her. The judge reassured each of them of their worthiness, that their voice matters and called them brave and strong survivors for coming forward.
Aquilina said, "the system clearly failed you, failed so many children without voices. You've grown into a beautiful, smart intelligent woman who has a voice. This voice that you have just let out publicly will have that ripple effect to change legislation. To change the lives of children who are being abused to speak up like you."