Day 6: Survivor to Nassar "we are powerful, and you are powerless"
Day six of the Nassar sentencing hearing began Tuesday morning.
14 more survivors came forward overnight wishing to share impact statements, bringing the total to 158. Nassar is expected to be sentenced Wednesday.
Whitney Burns was the first to speak Tuesday. In 2001 her family was a in a car crash that ended in multiple injuries, and a family friend in critical condition. The injuries from the accident is what brought Burns to Nassar. "In my moments with Nassar I was robbed of my ability to dream of my future," she says she was forced to live second by second just to survive.
"I was powerless to overcome my emotions, or to get any sort of help," she felt "crazy" for the thoughts she was having. Because of the abuse she struggled with trust, and misplaced blame. "You stole my light, Larry Nassar, and I am now taking it back." She says her eyes are now "open to the control that you had over me" during the time of abuse. She was not only sexually abused, but emotionally abused by Nassar as well.
Burns says she did the best she could, and she is proud of herself for making this statement today and standing up for herself. "The power that Larry Nassar held was given to him, and we are here to take it away." She says that with time, the truth will always come out, and that time has made his victims stronger. She wants to ensure that nothing like this happens again in the future. "I know that time is going to bring us the truth. Larry Nassar, I am glad to participate in the end for you."
Burns says her "success has only just begun."
A poem was read on behalf of a survivor.
Isabell Hutchins struggled with coming forward, "I wasn't sure if anyone would listen to me." She says she was taught throughout her gymnastics career not to question authority, and not to speak up. "I am a part of our army of survivors, and there is strength in numbers." She decided to share her story because of the younger girls in the gym, and for her little sister. "I wanted to give them strength and confidence."
She started practicing at Twistars when she was 10 years old, and that's when she met Nassar. "I told him everything." She says when Nassar's basement flooded her family went to his house to help clean out the basement. A couple days ago she found a box that she mailed to his house, it was items from the 1996 Olympics. Hutchins shared a letter that Nassar wrote to her.
She says the abuse would happen without permission from her, her parents, and without gloves. "He told me he would even told John how to stretch me the same way, but without penetration." Hutchins told a teammate what happened to her, and asked if it was weird but her teammate said the same thing happened to her so she brushed it off.
Hutchins said after an injury she was told to visit Nassar, and was not allowed to get a second opinion. She says she would be at his house until 11pm at night, and then have a two hour car ride home, sometimes not getting home until 1 or 2am. She says for over a month she practiced, and competed on a broken leg because Nassar told her nothing was wrong. She has been told, recently, that she would need another surgery on her leg. She wonders if Nassar didn't want her to heal so that he could continue to abuse her.
She refers to Nassar and Geddert as "the dynamic duo." She believes they changed herself as a person, because of the abuse she suffered. "Because of the monster that is Larry Nassar I am afraid to trust anyone," she says his actions were part of the grooming process. Hutchins struggles with trust issues, and says she is in a state of constant anxiety.
"My time at Twistars was the worst time of my life. It was the darkest time of my life, I was depressed, and it got to a point where I would physically harm myself," she says the physical pain was easier to handle than the emotional pain. "I went through it alone, but I shouldn't have had to. I shouldn't have had to go through it at all. John Geddert, USAG, and MSU, how could you have let this happen?" She continues to call out John Geddert of Twistars, "we are just merely distractions to you." She says, to Geddert, "we will come for you next."
"You were never a real doctor, you did not heal me, you only hurt me." Hutchins is pursuing a degree in the medical field.
Meaghan Ashcraft was in the courtroom, but had her statement read on her behalf. She was a gymnast for 14 years, she met "Inmate Nassar" when she was just 10 years old. He was highly recommended, known as "the best doctor." She says at the first few appointments Nassar made her feel safe, always complimenting her, making her laugh and smile. "I now know he was grooming me." Nassar told her that her hips had something to do with her ankles hurting, "I was so unaware of what was happening." her mother was in the room during the time of the abuse, and Nassar would position himself so she couldn't see what was happening. "It was then he began to touch me in places a little girl should never be touched." The abuse continued for two years.
Because of the abuse she struggled with depression, "he used my body for his own gain, he took advantage of me when I had no voice to speak up." She refers to Nassar as a predator, and pedophile. "He did this to so many girls, so many innocent girls." Ashcraft still feels shame when remembering what happened to her, and struggles speaking about what happened. "He betrayed so many peoples trust, I still will not let a male doctor touch me from the waist down."
She says she understands now that these feelings, and fears, are not her fault. They are Nassar's fault. "I am no longer a victim of sexual abuse, I am a survivor." She says she will overcome the abuse. She hopes her sister survivors can find peace knowing that Nassar will be locked away for a very long time.
Natalie Woodland spoke next, she is 16-years-old. "I am a victim of sexual abuse, that is not something that is easy to admit." Woodland says she still struggles physically, mentally, and emotionally due to the trauma. "i trusted him to take care of me, my parents trusted him, and he used me as a toy for his own pleasure."
Woodland continues to call out the organizations that she says let the victims down, "shame on you." She was treated by Nassar at MSU, after the 2014 investigation. "No new protocols were followed, and I was abused again." She says the organizations chose to protect their reputation, and money, instead of protecting the victims.
"I am strong, and I am beautiful, and I am bold," she says that her story is important, and she has a right to be heard.
Jillian Swinehart, 15-years-old, shared her statement next. She was 8 years old when she started seeing Nassar, and continued until 2016. She say she was sexually abused by him at his house and at MSU. "I thought you were a good person, I thought I could trust you, but I was wrong." Swinehart says Nassar will never be forgiven for his crimes, and she believes that Nassar does not feel guilty. "You have to be the most sick and twisted person ever to do that to young girls."
"I am a victim of your trap, and manipulation, but it is not going to stop me."
Anne Swinehart, the mother of Jillian shared a statement after her daughter. "She was only eight," she says she struggles with guilt. She wonders how she missed the red flags, and misinterpreted Nassar's intent. "To think that I had let this happen to my child when I was sitting right there," she says she tried to rationalize it in a medical way. Her daughter said that maybe it was when her pelvis was hurt, but not when the pain was in her leg or back. Swinehart recalls her daughter grimacing in pain, and now understands that it was not a knotted muscle.
"You are all day tough, as your world crumbled around you you have stayed strong," she says to her daughter. "You and all these ladies have shown that you, are all day tough."
Alison Scauvette says Nassar, "stole my sparkle." Originally, because of all the hype around Nassar, she was excited to have him as a doctor. After the first manipulation she was scared, it didn't feel okay. She recalls pictures of Olympians covering his walls, "I must be crazy." After the abuse, she wondered if she was still a virgin. She was 14-years-old, and the abuse continued for years. She spoke with other patients of Nassar, and they had similar stories to hers.
She was plagued with anxiety through high school, and college. She says she had her first date senior year of college, and refused to get close to him for the first 6 months of their relationship. "I was terrified of him discovering that I was crazy." She says her boyfriend helped her learn to trust again, but she is unsure if she will ever fully trust.
Scauvette majored in bio medicine, but in the end she decided that she couldn't follow her dream and become a doctor. "I only set appointments when the office refuses to fill my medications." She fears that she will never get back trust in the medical field. She says Nassar referred to the abuse as "manipulation." She says this is ironic, as he was "manipulating me, as a person."
"I was raised to see the good in everybody, and never hate, but this is a very difficult thing to do." She says Nassar knew what he was doing was wrong, and that he was in an environment that was detrimental. "This is the path you chose, to take, and you now get to pay for what you have done." She says, the victims, as young girls were fooled. She calls out MSU, USAG, and society, for failing to "keep us safe."
"We all deserve to sparkle." She hopes that speaking out will encourage more to speak their truth.
Ana Dayton spoke next, her parents joined her at the podium.
She hopes speaking will help her, and other survivors to put the shame and guilt behind them. "For ten years you seemed to have all the answers to my problems," she says she was optimistic and naive. "When I look at you now, I still see this person," she believes this is due to his emotional and mental manipulation, and knows he is an abuser. "You were supposed to be the good guy, but instead you used your power, authority, to take advantage of me."
"I am not a victim, no one here is a victim, we are all survivors." She says she quit sports because of Nassar. "Your treatment and referrals only lead me to a darker path," she questions all of it. She says Nassar referred her to surgeon that Nassar himself later admitted he had doubts about.
"I also find strength in this community of women," she says though they share a struggle, and pain, they also share strength. "I am here to tell you that I am on the path of overcoming your manipulation." She says she will decide who she will become, and write the ending to her own story. "I want our voices to be heard, and positive changes to be made."
Statement provided by Olivia Venuto, and read on her behalf.
Venuto was 12 years old when she first met Nassar. She saw Nassar for seven years, until April of 2013. Her mother, or father was in the room during the time of the abuse. Her parents were in denial about the abuse, and even emailed him in 2016. He asked her parents to 'please pray' for him. "Larry Nassar is a coward," she says describing how Nassar usually hides his face, or looks down while victim impact statements are read.
She requested that Nassar be given the maximum sentence.
The next statement was read on behalf of Victim 126. She was a freshman in high school when she first saw, and was abused by Nassar. "I was so desperate to get answers, and be without pain," that she didn't question the 'treatment.' She says Nassar gained the trust of her mother, she believes this was part of the manipulation.
She hopes that by coming forward it can help stop more potential abuse from happening.
Mattie Larson was the first to speak after a short break, she was a member of the US National Team. She competed at the senior elite level from 2008 to 2010. Larson was the 2010 U.S. national champion on floor exercise.
"I have a voice now, and it needs to be heard." At 19 she was at the height of her career, and she says she was broken from the abuse. "Larry, my coaches, and USAG, turned the sport I loved into my personal living hell."
She went to the Karolyi Ranch when she was 10, and 11 years old. She called her parents on the payphone every-night, asking to come home. "I dreaded having to go back every single time for the next 9 years." She was 14 when Nassar first abused her. "I ended up barely being able to lift my foot off the ground a few days later." She says after the first time he molested her, it would happen every single time she was treated by him. She says that first injury was the only one that was remotely close to her genital region.
She says Nassar ignored a fracture, and told her she was fine. She was left to roll around the camp, and the injury wasn't even wrapped for the flight home. When she got home another doctor took a look, and confirmed the fracture. She says at the time, Nassar was one of the only nice adult there. He would give them candy, or junk food, which she says was strictly forbidden.
She says at the Karolyi Ranch, the closest civilization is a high security prison 30 miles away. She says it's completely isolated, and there is no cell service. She also notes that the closest hospital is so far away if someone was severely injured they would have to be helicoptered there. Larson struggled with an eating disorder due to the pressure from the coaches.
At one point, she was so desperate not to go to Karolyi Ranch that she purposefully injured herself. The next time she returned to camp she was shamed for getting hurt, and not pushing through it. "I have never felt so small and disposable in my life." She says the Ranch was the perfect environment for abusers, and molesters to thrive.
Larson says she met with Senator Dianne Feinstein about legislation that would require institutions to immediately report sexual abuse. She says that legislation has not yet been passed.
She wants legal steps taken to stop anything from this happening again. She continues to call out MSU, and USAG, for not stopping Nassar when the abuse was first reported.
She requests that Nassar receive the maximum sentence.
Jessica Howard was unable to attending the hearing, but a statement was read on her behalf. She says her mother blames herself. "My beloved mother blames herself or not being there." She continues to call out MSU, and USAG, saying the allowed a serial predator to continue abuse. She says USAG made her feel like it was an honor to be treated by Nassar. Because of the abuse, "my family has had to watch me deteriorate."
She says that she has struggled with anxiety, and self loathing for years. At one point she seriously considered suicide. "You have not won," she says to Nassar. "I now know that we are strong." She calls out MSU, USAG, and the Olympic Committee for failing her, and the other victims. She believes they deserve to face repercussions.
Alexandra Romano was unable to attend the hearing so her mother, and sister presented the statement for her. "To the soon to be forgotten Larry Nassar," she begins, calling Nassar a coward. "I just want you to know, Larry. I trusted you, and I looked up to you as my doctor." She says that after finding out the treatments were for his own sexual gratification, he broke her trust. "You used my innocent adolescent body, meanwhile I thought you were healing me."
"What you've done is unforgivable," she continues to describe the abuse - like many other victims, her mother was in the room as it happened. "You are the only guilty one here," and she hopes that Nassar is forced to endure pain and suffering. "The pain is just beginning for you. You disgust me." She says that Nassar is a sad excuse of a human being, and that he is "dead to us."
Arianna Castillo was the next to speak, she was at the podium with her sister. She was 3 years old when she first went to Twistars, she saw Nassar at 8-years-old. Castillo says she still has trouble with her hip, "he took away my confidence that I was developing at a young age." She is still struggling with the aftermath of the abuse.
Selena Brennan spoke next. She was 11 years old when she first saw Nassar. She says he abused her under the guise of treatment, and made her wear "special medicine shorts." She wonders if Nassar prolonged her pain so he could continue to user her for his own desires. "The last time I saw Larry was at the end of August," not long before the news broke about the abuse.
"This week has been my time to face you, but today is your time to face me." She asks Nassar to look at her as she speaks, because that's "the attention I deserve." She believes no punishment would be enough for the pain and suffering he caused all his victims. "I plan on taking your job, Larry. And making sure that no patient of mine ever feels the way I do." She is pursuing a career in sports medicine.
The next victim wished to be anonymous.
Brianne Randall was joined at the podium with her brother, and her mother. She reported Nassar's abuse in 2004 to Meridian Twp. Police when she was 17. A rape kit was done. In 2004 Nassar told police that she misunderstood the treatment because she was uncomfortable with her own body, and they took Nassar's word over hers. Meridian Twp. Police flew her from out of state so she could make her statement.
She was hesitant to leave her home, as she has an infant son. To Nassar, she says, she wasn't afraid of him then, and "I sure as hell am not afraid of you now. Your power has been taken from you by an army of strong women." She works as a family practice physician assistant, and she is shocked at how man of her patients have been victims of sexual abuse. She asks everyone to please listen to children when they report abuse, and take action.
Makayla Thrush was a gymnast at Gedderts Twistars from the age of 7 to the age of 17. "I have been dealing with many mixed emotions," she says there is not a single bone in her body that doesn't hate John Geddert. "Maybe I was just too young to see the coward, and bitterness in you," she says to Geddert.
She alleges that Geddert was verbally, and physically abusive to her. "I will never forget the time you sat me in your office and you told me a big 10 school was not going to be in my future anymore." She says Geddert would not allow her to eat "real food", and if they were caught eating something they weren't supposed to they would be forced to scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. She also says Geddert would walk into the locker-room without warning while they were changing.
"You told me to kill myself, not just once, but many other times, and unfortunately I let you got the best of me." She said after her career ended, she did attempt suicide. "I am sure stuff like this is still going on behind closed doors, you should not be allowed around children." She says that John Geddert does not care, and is just focused on keeping his name clean. "You are nothing but a coward for trying to remove your name from this case." She wonders what else Geddert has to hide. "You are a horrible gym owner, and just as bad at keeping Twistars a safe place."
She began seeing Nassar at a young age. "Gymnastics does in fact live up to being one of the hardest sports in the world," indicating that there were many injuries. She continues to describe the abuse, "hours of non-stop sexual abuse." She calls Geddert and Nassar the biggest disappointments in her life.
Emily Morales only recently decided to come forward publicly. She grew up in gymnastics, "I always wanted to be in the gym." Overtime she developed back pain, and worked through the pain as long as she could. Eventually she was recommended to Nassar, and she was eager to address her pain. She admired all the photos of Olympic gymnasts on his walls. Her experience with the abuse is similar to what many other survivors have shared. "He told me to relax, this would make me feel better." He told her he had to "really work" on her. Her pain did not feel better, but the abuse would continue, so she told him her pain was gone.
"My innocent naive self, had no idea that what he was doing was not medical care. It was sexual abuse." Before the trial she remained in denial about what happened to her. She still struggles with depression and anxiety. In school, she "wanted to disappear." She fights thoughts of suicide, and self harm. "I began to lose hope, and think there is no place for me in this world," convinced she was bad at "being a human being." Morales avoided the news for as long as possible, but when she finally confronted it and watched the first 3 days of the trial she realized she wasn't alone.
"He took away my innocence, and that is something I will never be able to get back," she feels sick when she thinks about it. "Thanks to the court, I will never be victimized by him again. "I will not take my own life, I am going to take it back," she will work to be joyous and confident as she was before the abuse.
Nassar gave her discounts, special visits, gifts, and interacted with her on social media. "You used your power to get close to me, you weren't just a doctor, you were a trusted friend." She believes that is why she has been in denial for so long. "How could I have been so naive?"
"I believe in forgiveness, Larry, you and I are human beings. We make mistakes, although you have hurt me I want to forgive you." She asks Nassar to apologize.
Abigail Mealy was joined at the podium with her younger sister, Amanda Mealy, both abused by Nassar. "When this nightmare all began, I never thought I'd be able to face you again," she is here now backed by the "power of hundreds of women." She says there are no words to express the amount of pain and confusion she has felt due to the abuse.
Mealy was a gymnast at Twistars from the ages of 3 to 15. When she was 11, she broke her foot. She says she received treatments for her back, and does not recall ever actually receiving a diagnosis. She recalls the abuse got more intense as she moved up in the sport.
"It's like you had this elaborate system set up for us girls,"she said. "It's like being moved through these levels of your sick world." Explaining how the appointments went from being occasional to being in Nassar's basement. Mealy confided in Nassar about personal topics, and she know understands that those conversations weren't appropriate for a young girl to have with her doctor. "This has to be okay, I am okay," she would repeat to herself.
"Because of the bravery of the women who have refused to be silenced," she can see through Nassar's brainwashing. She says Nassar will have the rest of his life to rot in prison. "You did not ruin our lives, you have stolen a chapter out of our stories, and we will never get that back."
To MSU, USAG, and anyone else that knew of Nassar's abuse, "you should have prevented this, it should have never been a privilege to see a child molester."
Ashley Bremer was joined at the podium with her mother, and another survivor. She says picked her up in the afternoon, while her parents were at work, and brought her to MSU. He brought many papers that had information about her lifelong dream, being a model. She now realizes his was him trying to be her friend, manipulation. On the car ride home Nassar played her favorite songs, and offered her candy.
She believes that everyone has a purpose on this earth, and that Nassar's purpose was to bring attention to child predators.
The next survivor chose to remain anonymous.
Brooke Hylec stood at the podium with her parents. She opened her statement by thanking the judge, and sharing a quote: "A woman with a voice, is by definition a strong woman." She identifies not as a victim, but as a survivor. "Everyone is disgusted that Larry was ever in our lives." As she moved up in her sport she began to see Nassar more often.
She says due to one of her legs being shorter than the other, she deals with back pain. Nassar made her change into shorts, a pair even belonging to Nassar's own daughter. "All I ever wanted to do was to feel better, I didn't know what was happening was wrong at the time," she says this is because her teammates were experiencing the same thing.
She was uncomfortable when Nassar asked her if she started her period. But even when the first news reports broke, she struggled with the truth. "We all lost trust in Larry," and Hylec began to struggle with depression. She was hesitant to start therapy, because she didn't want to face the truth. "Why, why did you do this?" She asked Nassar.
"I try to act as though I'm okay, when I'm not," Nassar took advantage of her, of all the girls. "You were never our friend." She says Nassar needs to have a heart to have a heart condition, and he doesn't (have a heart). "I am a strong woman, and I am still a gymnast." She says she will not let the abuse break her, "I am strong." She believes she will never forgive Nassar.
Abigayle Bergeron stood with her father as she shared her statement. She was hesitant to come forward at first, but the other survivor statement gave her the courage. She was a gymnast when she injured her foot, and her coach told her to see Nassar. Her mother was in the room when the abuse took place. "At my age I was unaware," that Nassar was gaining pleasure from what he was doing.
Her father, a detective, and retired police officer felt something was sketchy from the first time he met Nassar - he didn't trust Nassar's technique. Nassar told Bergeron that she would have to quit gymnastics. "I am so grateful to have such a strong team of women behind me who went through the exact same thing."
"I was a victim of Larry Nassar but I will not let that define me," she plans to live her life to the fullest.
Emily Meinke flew in from out of state to share her statement.
She has struggled to cope with the abuse for the last 25 years of her life. "I am simply a woman whose journey started with my love for the sport of gymnastics." She became part of an gymnastics program with Great Lakes gymnastics. "I was fully immersed in the gymnastics culture."
Meinke says her father, a doctor, donated a exam table to Nassar so he could "better treat gymnasts at Great Lakes Gymnastics Club." It was on that table she suffered abuse. "I thank god my father is no longer on this earth to witness the statements that so many girls have made," it would break his heart.
She was injured, and went to a doctor in Boston for help. He put her in a back brace. After that injury, when she was 12 years old, she began to see Nassar. He would bring her, and her teammates candy - because it was not allowed by the coaching staff. She says that was a grooming technique.
Nassar would 'treat' her late at night, when all the other coaches were gone. She questioned, "was this really going to help my pain go away?" She recalls a time when she was in his living-room, and he stopped their session so he could change into looser fitting clothing. She was abused at Twistars, Great Lakes, Nassars home, and MSU.
When she got older, her boyfriend, a police officer, went with her to an appointment with Nassar. "When Larry came in, he was shocked to see another man in the room. But awkwardly introduced himself." He positioned himself so that her boyfriend couldn't see what he was doing. Meinke says her parents were never informed of the treatments, and never asked permission - they were both medical professionals and she believes they would have asked questions about the legitimacy of the 'treatment'.
"It wasn't until I reached my thirties that I was able to stand up for myself," she says the abuse lead her on a path of abusive relationships. She struggled with eating disorder, and anxiety. "I still feel stupid for not immediately recognizing that what he was doing was wrong." She still feels guilty, wishing she had spoken up.
She never told anyone, other than the boyfriend who attended the appointment with her, about the abuse. It wasn't until September 2016, when she read an article about Nassar, that she knew she would have to deal with the reality of her past. "The last year, and four months has brought me a constant stream of anxiety, anger confusion, and resentment." Her mother, and husband, have encouraged her to come forward. "It is only now that I am strong enough to share my story without fear of judgement."
"We are one, we are in this together, and we must all stand in support for each other." She says that Nassar will no longer hold any power over her, and she is free to continue in her healing process.
"This is a revolution, and it is about time we hold the power."
Dawn Valley and Marty Valley spoke on behalf of their daughter, Morgan Valley. Morgan wrote a letter for them to read. She was not a gymnast at the time of the assaults, she was 15, turning 16. He was under investigation during the time she was assaulted. She was not informed he was under investigation, and there was not a nurse in the room. She continues to describe the abuse, her mother was in the room.
She began having to deal with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic. It was years later that the news broke about Nassar, and she had to face what happened to her. "We are survivors, we are here to make sure this will never happen again, we are here to make change, and we are here to be remembered."
Her father expresses that they're overcome with anger, and guilt for not protecting their daughters. "We are so grateful for them to take the stand, and let their voices be heard." He calls out MSU, hoping that "all the people who let this happen" to be held accountable.
Christina Barba stood at the podium with her husband, and her brother.
She has known Nassar for 30 years, she met him when she was 9 while she was in gymnastics. As a child, she thought of Nassar as a friend. Eventually her pain stabilized, and she didn't see Nassar as often as she once did. She did, however, stay in touch with Nassar. They wrote letters, she attended his wedding, and they would meet for lunch on MSU's campus.
Barba is a physical therapist, and worked with Nassar - even co-treated in his office. He would send patients to her, and she would send patients to him. She saw him when she was pregnant with her first child, her husband went to the appointment with her. With all their history, she struggled with the thought that he was a predator - she denied it. A doctor noticed a symptom she had, that often raised in other trauma victims.
She says the other women who spoke before her at this hearing have made it clear what happened. "A professional doesn't invite minor girls to his apartment girls alone," but Nassar did. There was no informed consent when Nassar abused her. "Tricky people befriend you and make you feel comfortable and safe. Tricky people ask kids for help and often give them gifts," referring to predators. She says there were plenty of red flags that, as a parent and medical professional, she can see now.
"I was blind to what happened because I trusted him implicitly, like a child. But now I can see the truth." She has taken self defense classes, and her children are doing the same. "I am not weak, and I will not accept those feelings of embarrassment or shame. I am leaving those here with him."
"I am here because predators like him need to know that their days of hiding in the shadows are done." She says that she forgives Nassar, and will never hate him. She will be praying for him, and all those hurt by his actions.
Amanda McGeachie's statement was read on her behalf.
She was a member of the Michigan State University Rowing Team from 2008 to 2012. She says that there is an MSU investigator calling her teammates and asking about her past injuries and treatments, "I have been outed." She says Nassar preyed upon the vulnerable, and desperate. "You took advantage of our determination." She believes MSU has failed her, and the other victims - and she feels ashamed to have ever represented MSU.
She says two of her friends told sports medicine psychiatrists about what happened to them, and still, nothing was done. "I am now 27 years old and I have been scared to have children," because Nassar told her she should never have children natural as she was "too small down there." It was this year that she finally asked her doctor if it would be a problem - her doctor informed her that, no, it wouldn't be a problem.
"We are strong, and you are nothing. We are powerful, and you are powerless. We will destroy you, like you tried to destroy us."
Victim 177 wishes to be anonymous, but still wants her statement read. She has been a gymnast since she was 4 years old, when she was 12 she made the US National team. "I was in love with the sport," in 2011 she was in her third championship - and she was injured. Her coach sent her to see Nassar, it was her first encounter - but she had heard many great things about Nassar. "She took me to see you in the medical room, and it was just you, her, and I," after several minutes the female coach left the room and Nassar "violated" Victim 177. She worked to repress the memory.
"I have buried this for so long, but now is time for the healing to begin." She says they went from being Nassar's patients, friends, athletes, to victims. She asks Nassar if he even remembers each girl. "Others need to answer for allowing you to practice your sick treatments," she calls out USAG. Victim 177 believes that sharing her story will help begin the healing process. "I am excited for the life that I have been preparing for."
Victim 178, her statement will be read on her behalf. At age 8 she knew gymnastics was the sport for her. "The actions of Larry Nassar were not only wrong, but also reprehensible." She questions why it took so long for Nassar to be stopped - especially when involved in a sport that looks so closely at everything. "Little did I know I was going to spend the next few years scared, and horribly abused."
"One of my biggest assignments turned out to be my biggest nightmare," she expresses frustration with those who had opportunities to stop Nassar. Two years after she reported abuse USAG finally attempted to follow up with her. "Larry Nassar has been abusing young women under the guise of treatment for many years."
"Larry Nassar, you put me through Hell, but you will not kill the light inside of me. I will not give you that power."
Sentencing has concluded for the day, and will continue Wednesday at 9:00am.
News 10's Clayton Cummins was tweeting live from the courtroom. (See his tweets below or follow them here:
Related StoriesTIMELINE - Larry Nassar Investigation
Day 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 4: Survivor says this is the worst epidemic of sexual abuse in the history of sports
Day 5: Nassar sentencing will continue Tuesday
Three USA Gymnastics leaders resign amid Nassar scandal
Showing support for Nassar survivors
Twistars owner John Geddert suspended by USA Gymnastics
Karolyi Ranch, USA Gymnastics training site, under scrutiny
Geddert reveals retirement plans in letter