For decades, Larry Nassar was a world renowned physician, known mainly for his work with gymnasts. For twenty five years, Nassar worked on the medical staff for USA Gymnastics team, even travelling with the team to countries all over the world for the Olympics. But Nassar’s twenty five years of supposed glory were twenty five years of horror for the young female patients he worked with.
“Before every appointment, I cried in the bathroom. And after every appointment, I couldn’t wait to get home to shower because I always left his office feeling so dirty. Yet, no amount of showers made me feel clean at all,” Judge Madeleine Jones detailed at Nassar’s trial.
Over 150 women testified against Nassar under the court of Rosemarie Aquilina, who made Nassar sit and listen to every girl who he so viciously hurt. On the day of Nassar’s sentencing of 40 to 175 years, Aquilina was very clear of her intentions with her sentencing.
“I just signed your death warrant,” she said with finality in her voice.
This trial was more than justice for these women; it was a landmark decision, showing how cases like this should be handled. Every abuser needs to hear the pain and suffering they have caused; these girls will never get their innocence back, so it is fitting that Nassar will never get these statements out of his head.
Parents of victims also gave statements. Randall Margraves, the father of three girls abused by Nassar, even lunged at Nassar on Friday, February 2nd.
“I lost control. I apologize a hundred times,” said Margraves. “I’m definitely calmed down. I’m embarrassed. I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”
The judge let him go, perhaps knowing in her heart that while vigilantes help no one, a father in that position had just lost it.
The pain and anger in that courtroom fell directly on Nassar’s shoulders after being forced to listen to each testimony for days on end. After decades of abusing athletes and girls Nassar knew personally, maybe now he finally knows what it’s like to feel trapped. This predator has been held accountable in the most non-violent yet brutal way possible. Many of his victims did this for much more than themselves. They did this for victims of sexual abuse all over the world who are too scared to come forward. As Nassar is left to rot, these girls live on knowing that they saved themselves and hundreds of other girls, and that in itself is worth more than words can describe.