Abused gymnast Aly Raisman brought her abuser and former USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, to tears in a powerful speech.
Appearing in court, Raisman, along with other gymnasts, testified on the crimes committed by Nassar as they grew up in the USA gymnastics team and were assaulted by Nassar in his position as doctor.
Her impassioned speech drew a round of applause in the court room and brought Nassar to tears by calling out his crimes, as well as highlighting the systemic failings which allowed Nassar’s abuse to take place.
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Larry, you do realise 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.
She paused at this point, to let the weight of her words sink in, before continuing:
The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices and we are not going anywhere.
Larry, you abused the power and trust I, and so many others placed in you, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly you manipulated and violated me?
I am here to face you Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength. That I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor.
I’m no longer that little girl you met in Australia who you first began grooming and manipulating.
Raisman then bravely goes on to explain how she felt when she was abused by Nassar, highlighting how Nassar would manipulate the victims into staying quiet about what happened when he was ‘treating’ them:
Imagine how it feels to be an innocent teenager in a foreign country, hearing a knock on the door and it’s you.
I don’t want you to be there, but I don’t have a choice. 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.
Lying on my stomach with you on my bed, insisting that your inappropriate touch would help to heal my pain.
The reality is you caused me a great deal of physical, mental and emotional pain.
@Aly_Raisman your confidence today was stunning. You looked a monster in the eye and spoke with unwavering conviction. It was an incredible moment of inspiration for anyone who has ever been made to feel powerless. You’re a damn force.
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) January 19, 2018
These powerful words are just some from one woman of nearly 100 who’ve come forward to testify against Nassar, who pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography.
The trial comes at a time of reckoning for sexual abusers everywhere, including Hollywood and other parts of the media.
More than 150 women have come forward against Nassar, which represents ‘nearly as many victims as the Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein scandals combined‘, according to HuffPost.
Watch Raisman’s full testimony here:
He initially denied the allegations of abuse but eventually pleaded guilty in two Michigan counties.
Over 37,000 explicit images were found in his possession, which were found during an investigation into the sexual assault claims.
It’s thanks to these brave women Nassar has been exposed and the systemic failings in the industry, as well as many others, can hopefully be addressed so no one has to go through this again.