Lindsey Lemke's reaction to president Simon's appearance
Another survivor who spoke this morning was former full-ride scholarship Michigan State Gymnast Lindsey Lemke. She was the third one today to read her statement out of a total of 105 who will be speaking. Lindsey thinks Nassar made up a back injury so that she would keep seeing him. Lindsey's mother spoke on her daughter's behalf earlier this week but Thursday, Lindsey decided she wanted to speak to Nassar herself.
Her victim-impact statement comes one day after she confronted MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon in the courtroom.
She talked to News 10's Alani Letang afterward.
Lindsey started off her statement in court with a fiery attitude, she wasted no time in addressing Nassar. She then went after John Geddert from Twistars and Kathie Klages a former MSU gymnastics coach. She said both of them are responsible and deserve a life behind bars
Thursday she said she couldn't sit silently in the courtroom any longer. "I hope that they were all listening today and they heard me because there have been so many people who have been touched by this. I have had people already when I sit back down message me that were gymnasts of Gedderts back in the 90's and said 'you took the words right out of my mouth and I couldn't have said it better.' It's time for things like this to be said, I'm not afraid and I'll keep going until it's right for everybody."
In Lindsey's statement she said it's a shame that the people she feels were responsible for allowing Nassar to prey on women could watch from the sidelines. That includes MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon whose short appearance, Lindsey said, was too late. "I think she's been destroying lives for the past 20 years," said Lindsey.
Lindsey Lemke told us she had to quit the sport she loved due to a back injury. When Simon appeared in court during the last hours of the second day of sentencing, Lindsey told News 10 she was watching her. Lindsey described Simon, "she sat in the back corner, most victims she wasn't even looking at while they spoke, she was writing something in a notebook."
Initially, MSU put out a statement saying president Simon wouldn't attend the victim statements because she didn't want to cause a distraction. Lindsey said Simon also mentioned that she was concerned with taking up space. Lindsey calls both reasons poor excuses. "Well this issue has been a distraction for so many girls for however long, and that's an excuse. You are one person and you took up one chair, there's an overflow room too. We have plenty of room for you to be here."
Lindsey tells us that she heard another excuse from president Simon, that the president didn't have time in her schedule for court Thursday. Hearing that especially didn't sit well when Lindsey addressed the court
"Well, Lou Anna Simon I can assure you none of us had time in our schedule for the past 5-20 years Larry Nassar to abuse us, but we had no choice. Nor did we have the time in our schedule for therapy, tears, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, sleepless nights, guilt, or for some self-harm," said Lindsey during her court statement.
Afterwards, she reflected on Simon not knowing her name and what she called a lack of empathy. "She was blanked faced, she had no idea what to say, she didn't know my story and I said 'that's funny because I'm the one who filed as a current member of the Michigan State's gymnastics team, and you had Kathy Klages coach, and she had no idea who I was.' That's your job as a president," said Lindsey.
On Wednesday, Linsdey also asked Simon why it took a year and a half to create a fund for the victims, some of whom have been in therapy for years. Lindsey told the judge she wants president Simon to stand at the podium and talks about why she doesn't feel responsible for the university's failure to stop Nassar.
Lindsey told us she'll continue to speak up and be a voice for those who have been hurt by Nassar. She plans on attending each day of the hearing.