- USA Gymnastics star Aly Raisman spoke at Larry Nassar’s sentencing on Friday and gave a powerful speech.
- Raisman belittled Nassar, who she said sexually assaulted her, and chastised USA Gymnastics as an organisation “rotting from the inside.”
- Nassar is expected to be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison over sexual assault charges.
USA Gymnastics star Aly Raisman on Friday delivered a blistering speech at Larry Nassar’s sentencing for sexual assault and molestation.
Raisman previously said that she was sexually assaulted by Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor and Michigan State doctor.
On Friday, Raisman – who had previously said she would not attend the sentencing but said she changed her mind after hundreds of victim-impact statements – spoke for 13 minutes, railing against Nassar’s practices and USA Gymnastics for overlooking reports of Nassar’s abuse.
Raisman at times spoke directly to Nassar.
“Larry, you do realise now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing,” Raisman said. “The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
Raisman recalled in detail Nassar’s practice of assaulting girls under the guise of medical treatment.
“Treatments with you were mandatory. You took advantage of that. You even told on us if we didn’t want to be treated by you, knowing full well the troubles that would cause for us,” Raisman said. “Lying on my stomach with you on my bed, insisting that your inappropriate touch would heal my pain. The reality is you caused me a great deal of physical, mental and emotional pain.”
She added, “You lied to me and manipulated me to think that when you treated me you were closing your eyes because you had been working hard when you were really touching me, an innocent child, to pleasure yourself.”
Raisman also criticised the letter Nassar wrote in which he said that he wasn’t sure he could “mentally” handle four days of victim-impact statements.
“As for your letter yesterday, you are pathetic to think that anyone would have any sympathy for you. You think this is hard for you? Imagine how all of us feel.”
Raisman also addressed USA Gymnastics and its president and CEO Kerry Perry. The organisation announced on Thursday that it would end its relationship with Karolyi Ranch, a training center for gymnasts in Texas where Nassar committed sexual assault. Raisman chastised USAG’s “empty promises.”
“False assurances from organisations are dangerous, especially when people want so badly to believe them,” Raisman said. “They make it easier to look away from the problem and enable bad things to continue to happen. And even now, after all that has happened, USA Gymnastics has the nerve to say the very same things it has said all along.” She added that USAG and the US Olympic Committee were not present for Nassar’s sentencing.
Raisman wondered why Perry did not stay at the sentencing after briefly attending this week.
“This sounds great, Ms. Perry, but at this point, talk is cheap. You left midway through the day, and no one has heard from you or the board,” Raisman said.
Raisman said Perry has become the leader of “an organisation that I feel is rotting from the inside” and she will be judged by how she handles the situation.
“A word of advice,” Raisman said, “continuing to issue statements of empty promises thinking that will pacify us will no longer work.”
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges. He is expected to be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison on sexual assault charges.
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