Day 4: Survivor says this is the worst epidemic of sexual abuse in the history of sports
Day five of Nassar sentencing is set to begin Monday at 9am.
When the hearing finished Friday 97 victim's had given their impact statements. Sentencing is expected to be on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
"I am a victim of Larry Nassar," those are words from Jordyn Wieber. She was the first to speak on the fourth day of Nassar's sentencing hearing. She was first taken to Nassar, in Lansing, when she was 8 years old, and continued to see him until she was 18. "I had no idea he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit."
"Now I question everything," she doesn't understand how Nassar was allowed to abuse women for so long. "Nobody was protecting us. I was not protected, and neither were my teammates." She mentioned the fact that parents put their trust in Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics. "The doctor who was our abuser, the doctor who was a child molester."
She says she is not a victim, and will not live her life as one. "I am an Olympian." She says despite being abused she worked hard and managed to achieve her goals. She believes the stories being shared during the hearing are all important, and that the people who are responsible need to accept responsibility.
The next victim to speak is a minor, Chelsea Zerfas. She was joined by her mother, and her coach.
She was 12 years old when she started seeing Larry Nassar. He told her that she tore a muscle in her stomach. "It's so sickening that he did that to me."
She says that not only did MSU fail to keep her safe, but so did USAG. "Larry Nassar is a monster." She believes MSU was an enabler, and needs to be held accountable.
She would avoid going to practice because the treatment made her uncomfortable. The gym stopped being a happy environment for her. "This is all your fault, we wouldn't be here in the first place if it wasn't for you."
Zerfas says that she is strong, and she is a survivor. "You are a coward and a sickening man. You did this to me. You're the one causing all this pain." She asked the judge to give Nassar the maximum sentencing, saying he doesn't deserve to see the light of day.
Samantha Ursch was the next to speak.
She was seeing Nassar for the second time when the abuse took place. She says she remembers one of the office staff members entered the room, and told Nassar that she was leaving for the evening. It wasn't until later that she realized this meant that she was alone with Nassar.
Ursch says Nassar told her there were other things he could do to help her injury, but that it was a little invasive. "My head was spinning." She trusted him, because he was a doctor. When he was finished she tried to exit the office the way she came in, but all the office lights were off. He had her exit down a back stairwell instead. She says she felt, "mortified and dirty." She called her mother, and told her what happened. Her mother knew something wasn't right.
She also asked the judge to give Nassar the maximum sentencing. Ursch says she's no longer pretending that the abuse didn't happen, but she is working to move past it.
Kara Johnson was the next to speak. She stood at the podium with her 15-year-old sister, and their parents.
She says that Nassar took her innocence when she was only 13, and that she is hurt and confused. She would have anxiety before entering Nassar's office. She told herself that it was normal to feel that way, and that Nassar could be trusted because he was a doctor. When her father would go to the appointments with her Nassar wouldn't abuse her.
She still has nightmares. She says Nassar says he could tell that her period hadn't started yet, and that he made her wear loose shorts. When her mother was at the appointments with her Nassar would position himself in a way so her mother couldn't see what was happening. After Nassar was done Johnson says he slapped her behind, and said, "alright, we are done here, sweetie."
He made her believe that he was the only doctor who could help her heal. She says that he fooled her. He would like her social media posts, and looking back this was a major red flag for her. After hearing all the other women speak she finally realized that she "wasn't crazy at all."
Madeline Johnson was 12-years-old when she first saw Nassar. Her pain was so bad she couldn't breathe without bursting into tears. At the time, Nassar seemed like the best option to treat the pain. According to her his walls were covered with pictures of Olympic Gymnasts, they were included with a signature.
Nassar pulled on her leg to un-jam her hip, and she says almost all her pain was gone. After that, however, he didn't stop. She says that was when he abused her. Her father went with her to the next appointment, he is a physician and he had hoped to learn what Nassar was doing to help with the pain. That time the abuse did not occur.
It was at another appointment that Madeline realized her mother couldn't see what was happening. She realized the only way she could get him to stop was to lie, and say that the pain was all gone. After that appointment she says her pain was getting worse, but she lied to her mother about the pain so that she wouldn't have to continue with the treatments. She finally understood what happened after seeing another girl speak about Nassar's sexual abuse.
Brad Johnson, the father of Madeline and Kara Johnson was given a chance to speak. He is an osteopathic physician. "The pain you caused was intentional. You did not care for these young girls with compassion, respect, and love. Your care was selfish, not selfless." He says that Nassar is "pure evil."
"You are not a physician, you are a pedophile." He says shame on you to the institutions who were supposed to protect the children.
The prosecutor shared an update to the number of impact statements. There will be 120. Judge Aquilina says she will give them as much time as they need.
Marie Anderson is the next to speak. "I am here today to talk with you about my experiences with Larry Nassar at Michigan State University Sports Medicine when I was 15 years old." She was a swimmer, and was having issues with her lower back. Nassar told her that sh needed "pelvic adjustments."
Anderson went into detail about how the abuse took place. At the time she believed that the "invasive treatment" was necessary, now she realizes it was abuse. She recalled pain and embarrassment when she thinks back to the abuse.
She was visibly angry when speaking to Nassar. She says she "did not find relief with the methods he used." She was a sophomore in high school, and had to use a back brace and crutches. She was bullied because of that, and still deals with the emotional repercussions. "As an alumni of Michigan State University I am disgusted to my core that this man was able to harm so many under their responsibility."
She recalled a time when the reports were first coming out. She was sitting at McAlister's Deli in Lansing and women at a table close to her were talking about "their friend, Larry." She remembers them discussing how "girls were making up these lies just for attention." They didn't know that she was abused by Nassar. She says, "little did they know that one of those girls, who I promise you, would have been very happy with no attention at all was sitting next to them with tears falling down onto her plate.
Amy Labadie was the next to speak. She was accompanied by her mother.
Labadie saw an article about Nassar in September of 2016. That is when she realized she was a victim too. She says that next day was one of the worst of her life, she didn't know how she was going to tell her mom.
She was abused at MSU Sports Medicine when she went there for a back injury. Her mother was in the room with her when the abuse took place. She asked if Nassar asked her mother permission, she said no.
Labadie was in denial. She hoped that her mother could comfort her, but nothing she said "could take away the shock that was running through my body." She loved gymnastics, and she started at the age of 7 or 8, and was competing level 5 by the age of 9.
She first saw Nassar after months and months of pain. He was highly recommended, and she believes his "celebrity status was a strong basis for his manipulation. She continued to describe the abuse.
Twistars, and John Geddart. It was her favorite event of the year, not only because it was the first of the year, but because Twistars was known as the best in the state. Little did she know. It was at the event that she was sexually assaulted by Nassar twice. Her mom asked do you want me to come with you two, and Nassar saying no. He had Labadie take her clothes off, and he molested her on the training table. He molested her again, and sent her on her way to the competition. She was sore at the competition because of him.
She says that John Geddert, the owner of Twistars Gymnastic Club, "was Larry Nassar's Bonnie to his Clyde." She alleges, in response to people who say they can't believe that nobody knew what Nassar was doing, "that's bull****, John knew."
She didn't understand depression, she didn't believe it was a thing, "until now." She suffers from anxiety, and has "lost countless hours of sleep." She says that what Nassar did is affecting her whole life. "Seeing him locked up behind bars for the rest of his life, for what he has done to me, and all of us, will bring some peace and knowing that he will never see the light of day again."
She hopes that her impact statement will give people the strength to realize when a "monster is standing right in front of your face." She said we must find a way to stop this from ever happening again. "Come hell or high water, we will take every last one of you down, that could have stopped this monster."
Judge Aqualina assured Labadie that Nassar will not be getting out of prison. She hopes that Labadie will leave her nightmares with Nassar, and informed her that she matters. "Life matters, you need to live yours." Labadie said she can do that.
Ashley Yost spoke next, her mother held her hand.
She says the letter isn't for Nassar, it's for Judge Aqualina. She believes Nassar doesn't deserve to know the impact the abuse had. Yost job shadowed Nassar when she was 16 years old. Yost was being treated by Nassar for half of her life, the last time was in 2016 when she was 24-years-old. She recalls seeing the gifts, in his office, that his patients gave him, and now believes that these were trophy's to him.
It was after seeing the news reports that she realized he should have never used penetration to treat her injuries. She says he used his personal life, and his family, to make it seem as though he actually cared about her. She hasn't fully processed the abuse, and she believes that is due to the grooming process.
For a long time she dissociated herself from what happened, but she is working toward understanding it. She says that taking a stand today is a step in that direction. She says she struggles with anxiety, and depression, but is attending therapy to cope. "Ive struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts with no explanation."
"I'll never know if he truly cared about my disease, and my health, or if it was all a facade." She says the hardest part is she'll never know why Larry Nassar did what he did, or why he chose to prey on children. "The fact that I'll never have answers to so many questions, is something I struggle with daily." She is still confused, angry, and hurt. She believes a part of her will always feel that way, but that it will get less and less each day. "One day I will have complete clarity of the person Larry Nassar is," she knows that her break downs are temporary and that she is stronger than what happened to her.
Aly Raisman shared her victim impact statement after the break. Raisman is gymnast and two-time Olympian. She was a member, and captain of both the 2012 Fierce Five and 2016 Final Five U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics which won their team competitions.
Raisman believes that each survivor deserves to be heard equally. Initially she was scared, and nervous to make a statement. However, when she listened to the other survivors, she knew that she needed to be there too. She looked toward Nassar and said, referring to all the survivors, "we are now a force, and you are nothing." She feels disgusted when she thinks about how the abuse happened, and how so many were manipulated and violated.
She says she first met Nassar in Australia when he began grooming her. "You think this is hard for you? Imagine how all of us feel." She didn't want treatment from Nassar, but she says it was mandatory. She says Nassar took advantage of that, and would tell on the victims if they refused treatment. "You made me uncomfortable, and I thought you were weird."
"If just one adult listened, and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided." She says that Nassar should have been locked up a long time ago. She holds the organizations responsible for what happened. She feels USAG is "rotting from the inside." Raisman says issuing statements to pacify the victims will not work. "Why must the manipulation continue?"
"Larry was the Olympic doctor and he molested me at the 2012 London games." She says their lack of taking responsibility, and showing respect is like "being abused all over again". The organizations did not reach out to her when she came forward about the abuse. She believes if the proper steps aren't taken history will repeat itself. "If ever there is a time to fully understand a problem it is this one right now."
Raisman says that "this is the worst epidemic of sexual abuse in the history of sports." She wants the ones who empowered and enabled Nassar to be held accountable.
Cassie Powell was joined at the podium with her father, Doug Powell, who is a law enforcement officer.
"For the last year I have lived behind the shadows of Jane Doe," she began her statement. Powell was a poll voter, and javelin thrower for MSU.
March 26, 2010. Her uncle referred her to Nassar after working with him at Twistars. She was 16 years old. She says she had so much potential both physically and mentally. Nassar told her he thought she might have cancerous tumors pressing against her spine, possibly fracturing vertebrae. "Don't look confused." She said, addressing Nassar directly. She continues, saying the tests came back negative for cancer.
Powell says Nassar was erect during the abuse when she was 16-years-old. She didn't fully understand until years later, when asked about it in therapy. The next time she saw Nassar her mother, not fully understanding what happened, told Nassar that what he did made Powell uncomfortable and he shouldn't do it again. She says this did not stop Nassar.
She recalls Nassar always having his hands on her when he checked the alignment of her hips. She continued to describe how Nassar would grope her during his "routine." She wanted to scream during this, but she believed she needed to stay strong. Powell says Nassar would say she had a "weak cheerleader butt" every time he saw her. If there was another adult in the room, he would tell them that "it's okay" and indicate they should leave.
Powell says when the abuse occurred she did everything a young girl could do to make it to stop. She thanked Rachael Denhollander for being the first to come out and admit what happened.
She says she has pushed away everyone she has loved, and everyone who loves her, because she questions their intentions. "I have explained today, January 19, to my friends and family as my own funeral, and this is my own obituary." Because of the abuse, she has lost so much of herself. "I am haunted by recurring nightmares of the abuse and I wake up screaming, crying, and in cold sweats most nights."
"You put immense fear, pain, and hate into my heart." She has no sympathy for Nassar in regard to him claiming he can't handle listening to the impact statements. Powell Graduated from MSU in 2015, and moved out of state. Eventually she was offered a position to be a graduate assistant for the track and field time and return to East Lansing. "I chose to run back into a burning building, with fire, and debris, all around me and here I am still standing." She says this is in spite of Nassar.
"I pray we will all know that we are not alone, that we have each other, and there is strength in numbers." She says forgiveness will be a daily battle. "It will soon be time for Larry to reap what he has sown." She says, speaking to Nassar, that there is nowhere for him to hide.
Dough Powell, law enforcement officer for over 32 years, and father of Cassie Powell was allowed to speak after his daughter.
"I find myself in unfamiliar territory today." He says he will do his best to remain ethical, and politically correct while dealing with this extremely emotionally charged issue. He asked permission to speak to Nassar directly. He says that the defendants name is not Larry Nassar, not Doctor Nassar, not Mr. Nassar, it is "Inmate Nassar." He listed terms, "fish, chester, diaper sniper, diddler, tree jumper, just to list a few. I hope these argots are offensive to you, because you are offensive to us."
"You are a f***ing hog," Powell said, looking directly at Nassar. "I pray that this county, state, and federal correction staff, that you will forever come in contact with perform their jobs to the best of their abilities to keep you alive. And don't you dare try to manipulate the correctional facility and be a coward and harm yourself." He wants Nassar to live in fear, just as he inflicted guilty, fear, and pain on all these families.
Powell shared a message to the survivors. He says that Inmate Nassar is like sandpaper in a woodworkers shop. He scratches and digs, and will change the exterior, but in the end those scratched and dug will become polished and beautiful. "Beautiful strong women they are," he continues to say that Nassar will be discarded and thrown in the garbage like "the garbage you are."
Two survivors, friends, spoke after the court took a break. Megan Ginter spoke first. She is a senior in high school, and is currently 18-years-old. When she was 10-years-old she began to have intense pain in her right hip, which made it hard for her to participate in sports. By the time she was 13 she had visited many doctors, but nothing seemed to help. She dealt with many tests, and misdiagnoses'. Eventually she was recommended to Nassar. She was abused on the initial visit, as well as the next visit.
She says Nassar recognized her emotional vulnerability and took advantage of that. Because of the abuse she pulled away from her family, and refused to admit, to anybody, what happened to her. This made school difficult, as she was dealing with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The abuse happened five years, ago but she says she is still affected by it every single day. "I am hoping to progress in therapy with support, and on my own, so that I can live comfortably."
"I am no longer the naive and humiliated child I once was. I am a brave young woman," she said, speaking directly to Nassar. When she finished her statement
Judge Aqualina reassured her, as she has with every victim, "I don't know if he feels at all. I know you feel. And what you should feel is proud, and brave, and strong, and tall, and so powerful he will never do anything like that to anyone ever again. You are safe here now. Your abuser can never reach you."
Catherine Gordon spoke next. She shared something she had written previously. She expressed that sexual assault is usually shown as violent, as easily recognizable, and she says that is not always the case.
The next statement was read by a victim advocate on behalf of Katelynne Hall. Hall was in the courtroom as the statement was read.
Hall is 18 years old, and identifies as a "survivor" of sexual abuse. She had been a patient of Nassar since she was 8 years old, the abuse didn't begin until she was 13. She says she had no idea that "penetration was not a valid treatment." She was too embarrassed to talk to anybody about what happened. She is still dealing with the emotional repercussions of the abuse. She says her parents want her to begin counseling, but she doesn't know if she's ready to talk about what happened.
Instead of continuing the treatments with Nassar she gave up gymnastics. She was 16 at the time. "I lost the one thing I truly love and excelled at, gymnastics." She asked that Nassar be given the maximum sentence, and expressed that Nassar deserves to be behind bars.
Anya Gillengerten was joined by her parents, and her boyfriend. She says, that until now, she hasn't told anybody about the abuse. "The shame that started 16 years ago has been a deep, dark secret within me." She struggled with coming to court today because she works at Michigan State University, and feared losing her job.
When she was 16-years-old she was in a minor car accident, and at a gymnastic event the next day she injured herself further. Her pediatrician recommended that she go to "the Dr. Larry Nassar." She felt as though her prayers had been answered, because "this amazing doctor was taking time out of his busy schedule to help me." Nassar told her that he was doing them a favor, and not charging her family. She would go to his office after hours, other staff members would not be present.
She is now 33-years-old, and has spent 90% of her life with debilitating migraines. She also suffers from anxiety. The first person she told about the abuse was her older brother, but she still had trouble opening up to him. She describes a time when her brother poked her in the side, and she slapped him in the face. "I couldn't handle a male touching me, even though it was just my brother." She says she had misplaced resentment, that she put on her brother and it destroyed their relationship.
In high school she turned to self-harm to deal with the emotionally pain. She says most of her teen years were spent feeling like a failure, and she lashed out at the people she loved the most. "Depressed bitter mess of a person," is what she feels she became after the abuse. Gillengerten attempted suicide in college because of the emotionally trauma.
Gillengerten says she avoided the internet as often as she could, because she would see Nassar's face everywhere. "Larry, my life with you is over." This December she began taking steps to heal, and she believes her success wouldn't have been possible without the brave women who stepped forward first. "I have many scars to remind me every day that I'm a fighter, that I'm supposed to be here, and that I matter." Hearing the other stories gives her hope.
In closing, she requested that Nassar receive the maximum sentence.
Kaylee McDowell, who graduated from Holt high school, opened with a quote from an anonymous survivor. "You are not a victim for sharing your story, you are a survivor, setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, warmth, and raging courage."
McDowell was visibly angry as she spoke directly to Nassar. She first went to Nassar when she had a heel injury. She trusted him, and believed he was there to save her and her gymnastics. She says that Nassar told her they had a "special bond." She believed him because "you believed in me."
She was 12 when the abuse began, it continued until she was in high school. She says he gave her his Olympic jacket after one of their appointments. She also says that Nassar and Geddert were close friends, but that Nassar would talk badly about him behind his back. "You had us all fooled, that was for sure."
Nassar was still messaging her after he was arrested in November of 2016, asking for her to pray for him. When the abuse occurred she saw Nassar three times a week, at the gym, and at his house. Her parents feel guilt for what happened, but McDowell does not believe it's their fault. Continuing to speak directly to Nassar, "you sexually, mentally, and physically abused me. Hundreds of times."
"I have a faith that I will survive this, and come out stronger than I can imagine standing here today." She says the abuse stripped her from her own skin, making her feel insecure with her own body. "You are sick in the head, and I am sick, but I will not be forever."
"You will fall into your grave, and I will rise."
Lindsay Woolever was joined at the podium with her sister. A family member of hers spoke on Tuesday, and her speech inspired Woolever to share her story.
She was 14, suffering from lower back pain, when she first saw Nassar. Her mother is a gymnastics coach, and has been for more than 40 years. She recalls the first, and every time Nassar sexually assaulted her, including the times when her father was in the room. She is sickened by the thought of what Nassar did to her, her family, and so many others. She was 18 when they stopped treatment, and she gave up gymnastics.
"It sickens me that so many people have allowed you to abuse children for so may years," she stated. "I thank you for admitting your wrongdoing, so that I can start to process truly what happened to me." She says she is working toward forgiveness, and working to heal herself.
Tiffany Verra, Lindsay's older sister, and Dr. of Physical therapy who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction was allowed to speak after her sister. "Unlike you, I take my oath very seriously."
She says, "I would never do something like that without proper patient education, proper consent, and gloves if I needed to do internal treatment." She is ashamed that someone like Nassar was able to get away with that for so long. "I only wish that I had figured out sooner what had been going on" so that she could have helped protect her sister. Her healing with start today, and will continue."
Verra says that her sister is strong, and that they will be working on forgiveness as a family so that they can start to heal.
Hannah Morrow began her statement by thanking the people who supported her, and sharing a poem she wrote.
She is still in Gymnastics, and is determined to finish better than she started. "I will be out int he real world, thriving, empowering and standing by others." She is determined to survive this, and says that Nassar cannot break her. She also says that she has made suggestions to her high school for education on sexual abuse.
Bayle Pickle was joined by her friend and support person, Lindsay Lemke.
She hopes that hearing all the victims speak ruins Nassar. Pickle says she trusted Nassar because he was an adult figure, and a doctor. She believes Nassar took advantage of her because of her age. To this day she is still struggling with trust issues, and anxiety, especially around men. "I was brainwashed by the pictures you had in your office." She began seeing Nassar when she was 12 years old, and her mother had known Nassar since she was a child. "How could you do something so horrible to an innocent young girl?" She says Nassar spent hours with her multiple days a week.
"You and John clearly had a reputation that didn't set boundaries, and he stood up for you," Pickle said referring to John Geddert, the owner of Twistars. Pickle says that Geddert shouted, belittled, and hurt her when she was at Twistars.
She recalled a time when Geddert told her to "stop being a f****** baby" when she tore her Achilles. She described when Geddert screamed at, and threw ice at her in front of the other coaches. And another time when she told him to walk when her knee was broken. She says that Geddert was the closest thing that she had to a father figure, and his words still manage to hurt her to this day. Pickle's mother was also coached by Geddert, and trusted him.
Pickle wants MSU to know that she was treated in their facilities, and brought in at night through the back door of the office. She was told it was off the record because insurance wouldn't pay for the treatment, but now she wonders if it was just so Nassar could hurt her. She says MSU has yet to make the victims feel okay. To USAG, she says, "I am the victim. I was sexually assaulted, and you have no right to play victim and run away from these problems."
She says that Nassar will no longer interfere with her life. "I will move forward one day, and I hope that day starts now." She wants her mother to stop blaming herself, and that they will get through this together.
85 survivor impact statements have been read so far, 90 if parents / supporters are included in that count.
Alexis Alvaradl was joined at the podium by her boyfriends mom, and three other survivors. "My childhood innocence was stolen from me at the hands of Larry Nassar, she was only 12 years old." She said that Nassar made her feel special, and he gave her gifts. She vividly remembers the abuse. He asked her if her back felt better, and she lied to stop the abuse.
She says she didn't know that what he was doing was wrong, and she was taught that nobody was allowed to touch her down there, unless they were a doctor. Nassar was a doctor. He betrayed her trust "in the most vile way possible." She believed that it was her fault, and that she deserved it. She knows now that is not true.
She addressed Kathy Klages, saying that she looked up to, and admired Klages. "You failed me, and so many others. You were a mandated reporter, and you failed to report. If I were you I would feel pretty guilty right now for allowing so many young lives to be ruined." She continues to say that Geddert was as much as a monster as Nassar, and that he should be ashamed of himself. She also had stern words for the president of MSU, Lou Anna K. Simon.
Alvaradl says she doesn't want another "bull**** excuse that you're too busy or that you don't want to take away from us. You are part of the reason we are here." She continued, saying that Simon is a coward for not showing her face. "You, along with MSU claim that you were unaware of what was happening - how could you not know when there were so many people made aware of this." She says she is disappointed with MSU.
Nassar betrayed her trust, and used her innocence against her. "You broke, and shattered my life. You are a coward." She says the past 16 months have not been easy for her, and she is trying her best to cope and deal with the abuse.
Morgan McCaul was 12 years old when she first stepped into Nassar's office at Michigan State University. She was in tremendous pain, and wanted to return to the sport she loved most, dancing. "Dance was my life's passion," it was her art, and her sport. She looked to Nassar as a role model. She job shadowed Nassar at the clinic, she still has the Facebook messages he sent her. To her he was a mentor, and a friend. It wasn't until 2016 that she realized Nassar molested her.
She says she now understands that Nassar is "a selfish predator whose atrocities know no bounds." She believes she was robbed of the college experience that every young girl deserves. "You are merely a symptom of a sickness which plagues the very core of Michigan State University." McCaul calls for Lou Anna K. Simon to resign, "the fact that she has yet to do so is so insulting to hundreds of survivors like me."
Trinea Gonczar has known Nassar since she was 6 years old. When she gave her statement she spoke to Nassar directly. She knew Nassar when he was a student in training. "I remember you being such a big part of my life, and my gymnastics days." She felt that if nobody else could fix her, Nassar could. She remembers the bathtub at Nassar's apartment. She remembers the abuse, and says they were always part of the treatment.
"I never doubted you. I never felt scared of you. We loved you like family." She describes a time when she needed surgery, and Nassar and his wife were there when she woke up. She trusted him, her family trusted him. She says it wasn't until a few weeks ago that the abuse began to haunt her. Gonczar says she didn't know who he really was, and that maybe nobody did.
The treatment happened to her about 800 times, but she considers herself one of the lucky ones because during the abuse she didn't know he was hurting her. She asked Nassar if he ever thought about anyone other than himself. She says she had to make an extremely hard choice, and that she chooses the survivors. "You hurt us, you hurt me." She can understand why some are scared to come forward, but she believes in doing the right thing, "and I believe in the truth."
"I hope you cry like we cry, I hope you feel bad for what you've done," Gonczar said, "this is goodbye to you, Larry."
Her mother addressed Larry, "you made all of us parents unwilling accomplices in your sick attack on our precious girls." She says it is satisfying seeing these young women rising up, and becoming strong young women.
Larissa Boyce asked her father, William Michell, to speak before her. He addressed Nassar directly. Kathy Klages personally told him that Nassar was the best doctor in town, possibly in the country. That was 21 years ago. Michell and his wife felt privileged to be able to get their daughter what they believed to be the best care. They could tell that something was wrong, her performance, and attitude suffered. Boyce dropped out of gymnastics, and challenged authority. She never competed again.
"The revelation of your sick, twisted, demented, and deviant practices, I believe sanctioned and propagated by MSU has revealed that you sowed a destructive black seed into my innocent daughters mind and body." He says Nassar is narcissistic, and psychopathic. "You're going to be locked away, hopefully for several lifetimes." He says Nassar needs to expose those at MSU who had, or should have had, knowledge of what Nassar was doing.
"Can you truly repent?" Michell asks, but he doubts it. He does not believe that Nassar can really understand the pain and suffering that he caused so many families. He says, to those who have been abused holding back forgiveness, "is like drinking poison, and expecting someone else to die."
Adam Boyce, Larissa's husband, shared his perspective. "It seems very surreal that this reality is a new normal in our life. It has been unwillingly dug up, and ripped to the surface of our lives. But it is what it is. And I am a firm believer that God has a plan for us all." He asks that Nassar receive the maximum sentence.
He says Larissa began to have health issues when she heard the news of Nassar. She was physically sick for months. Shingles, kidney stones, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, and nightmares. She had not yet come to terms with the abuse. She was not acting like herself. They have four children, who were caught in the crossfire. In late December 2016, Larissa was still defending the abuse. It wasn't until she had a particular vivid memory that she finally understood she was abused - following that memories flooded back, and she struggled to make sense of what happened. He says she felt betrayed, and had to deal with thoughts of suicide. The symptoms she dealt with are believed to be triggered by PTSD.
He asks that Nassar receive the maximum sentence within the parameters of the plea deal. He is concerned that if the sentence is more than that Nassar with withdraw his plea.
Larissa Boyce, the 97th person to speak, hopes that sharing her statement will help her move forward. She first met Nassar when she was a teenager, it was in the middle of a gymnastics practice. She says Klages, and Geddert enabled Nassar and helped him achieve his "god-like status." She says he used gifts, charm, and status to groom and prey on his victims. She remembers Nassar asking her how often she gave her boyfriend oral sex, and insisting that she must do it often. Nassar told her to page him directly if she needed anything, and at the time she believed it was because he truly cared about her.
She continues to describe the abuse, saying that he pushed the physical boundaries more and more each visit. She described a time when he turned the lights off, and removed his belt. "I wanted to scream for help. The only reason the abuse stopped that day was because an employee knocked on the door." She saw Nassar for at least 4 years based on her recorded medical charts. She requested the charts from MSU, but they said they had no record of her being a patient there. A detective was able to obtain those records.
She requested that Nassar be sentenced to the maximum sentence based on the plea deal he agreed to. "You could have been stopped back in 1997." She says her, and a teammate brought concerns about what Nassar was doing to Kathie Klages. "Instead of notifying authorities or even my parents, we were interrogated."
"I told Michigan State University back in 1997. Instead of being protected I was humiliated." She says that if she had known that Klages and Nassar were such close friends she would have never told her. "Kathie enabled and embolden your pedophilia."
"Today I am claiming my freedom from you. Today I am no longer bound. I am breaking free from the chains you put me in 20 years ago. Today I am finally free. I am standing here reclaiming the voice that you stole from me. I am reclaiming my confidence. I am reclaiming the power that you took from me. I am reclaiming Larissa Michell."
For twenty years she carried the pain, believing she was the problem. She says she knows now that she is not the problem. She says Nassar, Klages, Geddert were the problem. "Through time my pain and sadness will get easier, as yours gets harder. Right now it is like an open wound, but eventually it will heal and turn into a scar."
"I am free from the chains of abuse that have bound me. May God have mercy on your soul." She says she asked Lou Anna K. Simon to be there to hear her statement. Simon told her she wouldn't be able to fit it into her schedule. She says when she asked, Simon responded with, 'I'll just watch it on the live feed.'
Sentencing has concluded for the day, and will resume at 9am Monday.
Statements will not be available from victims who wish to remain anonymous.
News 10 will continue coverage on Monday.
News 10's Clayton Cummins was tweeting live from the courtroom. (See his tweets below or follow them here:
Related StoriesDay 1: Survivor: "I knew immediately that it was abuse"
Day 2: Survivor says many more need to be held accoutable for lack of action
Day 3: Parents' of victims read statements in court
Day 5: Nassar sentencing will continue Tuesday
Day 6: Survivor to Nassar "we are powerful, and you are powerless"