Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Day 4 of Larry Nassar sentencing, 38 victims to speak still

Day 4 of Larry Nassar sentencing, 38 victims to speak still

A MI judge has heard from two Olympic gymnasts during a third day of gripping statements from young women who were sexually abused by a sports doctor.

About 100 sexual abuse survivors planned to speak at Nassar's sentencing hearing. Wieber became the fourth member of that team - dubbed the "Fierce Five" - to assert abuse by Nassar, including McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, who joined Wieber in court Friday, and also addressed Nassar. But the organization this week said it would not seek any money for her "brave statements".

Raisman's 10 most powerful lines are below.

Earlier Friday in court, Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber said she, too, was sexually abused by Nassar during her time at USA Gymnastics. Is there a compound noun that describes a facial expression that conveys both utter fury and absolute dignity? I was scared and nervous.

Olympic gold medallist McKayla Maroney had a statement read out on her behalf at the court in Lansing yesterday.

"In Boston, we are fully supportive of the competing athletes who have trained for years to be part of this opportunity and the gymnasts who have been fearless enough to share their stories with the world", Walsh said. At another point, Aquilina said she would allow someone "to do to him what he did to others" if the U.S. Constitution allowed cruel punishment. I support the courageous survivors.

"Realizing you are a survivor of sexual abuse is really hard to put into words", she told the court. "Imagine how all of us feel".

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In her no-holds-barred statement, Raisman ridiculed Nassar for writing a letter to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in which he expressed concern that listening to his victims was mentally taxing for him. "It doesn't help you, sir". The reality is you caused me a great deal of physical, mental and emotional pain. "I have never met you and I know you weren't around for most of this. You took advantage of our passions and our dreams", she said.

Consider the bravery it takes to recount these traumatizing details in front of a room of people, let alone while looking at the perpetrator of these crimes in the eye. "We are committed to a culture that empowers and supports our athletes". She said Nassar began abusing her when she was 14 years old and trying to recover from a torn hamstring.

Several former national team members have said Nassar abused them at the training center, where they were obligated to go once a month while on Team USA. There are lawsuits. I mean, how will all of this affect them going forward? USA Gymnastics and Michigan State have separately said they reported Nassar's abuse immediately when they learned about it, but a number of victims said they told authorities about the abuse years ago and were ignored.

She says USA Gymnastics is "rotting from the inside" and called their statements about future plans to care for athletes "empty promises". Now is not the time for false reassurances.

"We're dealing with real lives in the future of this sport, for this sport to go on, we need to demand change", Raisman said.

Raisman emphasized repeatedly that Nassar being sent to jail was not enough.

Raisman has also lashed out against USA Gymnastics, saying that the organization did nothing to stop the abuse and "to me, it seemed like they threatened me to be quiet". "But the hardest thing I've ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar". So should we all.

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