Update - Judge hears testimony from Nassar accusers

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Lansing, Mich (WILX) -- A former Michigan State University gymnastics doctor, accused of molesting dozens of women and girls, was in court on Friday, May 12 2017 for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to trial.

Doctor Larry Nassar, 53, of Holt, is facing more than 20 criminal charges involving nine alleged victims in Ingham and Eaton counties.
Today, Rachel Denhollander, who is now 32, testified in detail about the medical procedures she endured under Nassar’s care when she was 15 years old. For around 90 minutes, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis asked her specific details about how Nassar touched her. Denhollander described five different medical appointments in 2000 where she says Nassar penetrated her vagina with her two fingers.

Denhollander said she didn’t feel comfortable with it but said she knew he was the expert so she couldn’t’ say anything.

“This is me not finding my voice, this is me trying to protect the women I couldn’t’ protect for 16 years,” Denhollander testified.

She also testified that the former MSU doctor massaged her breasts and other parts of her body. She said she saw Nassar was sexually aroused, had blushed cheeks and his eyes were closed as his hands went up her shirt.

“I froze. I knew that was sexual assault.” Denhollander testified. “ I didn’t want to give it words, words make it real.”

Under cross examination, Nassar’s attorney, Shannon Smith asked her about the letters she wrote to MSU police and to Ingham County police about the statute of limitations regarding the alleged sexual assault.

Denhollander told the court that Nassar’s treatment did not help the injuries she sought treatment for.

Smith continued to focus on why Denhollander filed a lawsuit to begin with, why she spoke out about the alleged abuse, how many interviews she did with the media, and why she was seeking monetary damages if she was just trying to get a pedophile off the streets.

“I was not motivated by anything but my desire to tell the truth,” Denhollander testified.

After about an hour, cross examination was completed. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis began to redirect Denhollander. She asked her specifics about her knowledge as an attorney. Asking her if her legal knowledge affected her accusations and the case she had built against Nassar. Denhollander made it clear her statements have never changed, her accusations have always remained the same and that she has always told the truth about it.

Denhollander said she did research and obtained as much evidence as she could because she did not think police would believe her. She said she knew Nassar was a pillar in the community and was worried that no one would believe he would do this.

Denhollander’s testimony ended about 1;37 p.m. The court took a brief recess before a second alleged victim – being identified as Victim G- gave testimony about here experiences with Nassar on the stand.

She is not being identified. She told the court she was treated by Nassar at Twistars in a backroom area. She also testified that she would visit him at his home for appointments.

She said she didn’t hesitate to got to him because she was always told he was “the best of the best.”

Nassar is facing more than 20 criminal charges involving nine alleged victims in Ingham and Eaton counties. The judge is expected to decide whether or not there's enough evidence for him to stand trial on fifteen of those charges.

The allegations of sexual abuse first came to light last September with claims by two former gymnasts in an Indianapolis newspaper article.

The MSU Police Department received its first complaint against Nassar in August of 20-16. Since then--- more than 50 women have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Nassar. In addition to the sexual abuse charges--- Nassar is also facing federal child porn charges. Check back in for more updates.

We will have full coverage of the hearing tonight on WILX TV 10.

UPDATE 1:45PM
A former Michigan State University gymnastics doctor, accused of molesting dozens of women and girls, is back in court.
Doctor Larry Nassar, 53, of Holt, is facing more than 20 criminal charges involving nine alleged victims in Ingham and Eaton counties.
Today, Rachel Denhollander, who is now 32, testified in detail about the medical procedures she endured under Nassar’s care when she was 15 years old. For around 90 minutes, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis asked her specific details about how Nassar touched her. Denhollander described five different medical appointments in 2000 where she says Nassar penetrated her vagina with her two fingers.
Denhollander said she didn’t feel comfortable with it but said she knew he was the expert so she couldn’t’ say anything.
“This is me not finding my voice, this is me trying to protect the women I couldn’t’ protect for 16 years,” Denhollander testified.
She also testified that the former MSU doctor massaged her breasts and other parts of her body. She said she saw Nassar was sexually aroused, had blushed cheeks and his eyes were closed as his hands went up her shirt.
“I froze. I knew that was sexual assault.” Denhollander testified. “ I didn’t want to give it words, words make it real.”
Under cross examination, Nassar’s attorney, Shannon Smith asked her about the letters she wrote to MSU police and to Ingham County police about the statute of limitations regarding the alleged sexual assault.
Denhollander told the court that Nassar’s treatment did not help the injuries she sought treatment for.
Smith continued to focus on why Denhollander filed a lawsuit to begin with, why she spoke out about the alleged abuse, how many interviews she did with the media, and why she was seeking monetary damages if she was just trying to get a pedophile off the streets.
“I was not motivated by anything but my desire to tell the truth,” Denhollander testified.
After about an hour, cross examination was completed. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis began to redirect Denhollander. She asked her specifics about her knowledge as an attorney. Asking her if her legal knowledge affected her accusations and the case she had built against Nassar. Denhollander made it clear her statements have never changed, her accusations have always remained the same and that she has always told the truth about it.
Denhollander said she did research and obtained as much evidence as she could because she did not think police would believe her. She said she knew Nassar was a pillar in the community and was worried that no one would believe he would do this.
Denhollander’s testimony ended about 1;37 p.m. The court is now taking a break before a second alleged victim who is now 22 years old is expected to take the stand.
Nassar is facing more than 20 criminal charges involving nine alleged victims in Ingham and Eaton counties. The judge is expected to decide whether or not there's enough evidence for him to stand trial on fifteen of those charges.

The allegations of sexual abuse first came to light last September with claims by two former gymnasts in an Indianapolis newspaper article.

The MSU Police Department received its first complaint against Nassar in August of 20-16. Since then--- more than 50 women have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Nassar. In addition to the sexual abuse charges--- Nassar is also facing federal child porn charges. Check back in for more updates.

We will have full coverage of the hearing tonight on WILX TV 10.

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Today marks day one of a preliminary hearing here at the Ingham County court house in Mason.

These hearings will determine if there is enough evidence to charge Doctor Larry Nassar with multipe counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct.

Here in Ingham County Nassar faces 15 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct seven counts in Eaton County.

Today’s testimony got very graphic at times as well.

In court … Rachael Denhollander let cameras roll as she took the stand to testify.

Denhollander recalled the numerous times nassar allegedly penetrated her using his fingers … during an exam and numerous sports massages.

She even recalled a time Nassar used his thumb to penetrate her anally.

Denhollander alledges nassar wasn’t wearing any gloves at the time.

All of this while her mother was in the room … even whispering to denhollander at some points in time … asking if he was hurting her.

She mentioned multiple times that nassar’s behavior was quote “rehearsed” that this wasn’t the first time something like this has been done.

Denhollander said … her mother had no idea what was happening right in front of her … she being too afraid to speak up.

Denhollander talked about a time as sort of the last straw when nassar … during a sports massage massaged her breast during a sports massage.

Denhollander alledges Nassar had an erection, blushed, and was breathing heavy while her breast was being massaged.

Denhollander says she reached out to a friend who's husband was a police officer and was unable to help.

When her head coach at a gym in Kalamazoo wanted to send a 7-year-old girl to nassar … denhollander says she tried to advise the coach not to … based on her experience.

That coach had actually urged denhollander to be careful about allegations based on possible repercussions.

It was an investigation an indiana newspaper did exposing misconduct … that encouraged her to reach out.

Denhollander says she reached out to that paper who had interviewed her.

She then reached out to MSU police after learning about the statue of limitations being lifted for first degree criminal sexual conduct.

we’ll continue to follow this story. Stay with News 10 for updates.

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A former Michigan State University gymnastics doctor, accused of molesting dozens of women and girls, will appear in court.
Doctor Larry Nassar of Holt, is facing more than 20 criminal charges involving nine alleged victims in Ingham and Eaton counties.
Today a judge will decide whether or not there's enough evidence for Nassar to stand trial on fifteen of those charges.
The allegations of sexual abuse first came to light last September with claims by two former gymnasts in an Indianapolis newspaper article.
The MSU Police Department received it's first complaint against Nassar in August of 20-16.
Since then--- more than 50 women have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Nassar.
In addition to the sexual abuse charges--- Nassar is also facing federal child porn charges.
Several of Nassar's alleged victims are expected to testify at today's hearing.
We will have full coverage of the hearing tonight on WILX TV 10.



 
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