Aly Raisman rips into sick gymnastics doctor before sentencing
“You are so sick,” three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman told Larry Nassar at his sentencing Friday on behalf of his “army of survivors.”
“I can’t even comprehend how angry I feel when I think of you,” the star athlete said in a steely, stinging rebuke.
“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.”
She added, “I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength, that I’m no longer a victim.
“I am a survivor.”
Raisman, 23, had at first intended to sit out the sentencing and have her words read aloud by prosecutors.
“It wasn’t until I listened to the other brave survivors that I realized I needed to be here,” she said.
Her impassioned yet dry-eyed statement earned her accolades from Nassar’s judge, Rosemarie Aquilina.
“You’re one of the strongest survivors I have ever seen,” the judge told her in her courtroom near Lansing, Mich.
Raisman is one of more than 100 women who have taken the stand over the past four days in a sentencing proceeding now expected to last well into next week.
“Larry, you do realize 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, looking the pervert straight in the eye.
“The tables have turned, Larry,” she told Nassar, 54, who sat looking deservedly miserable at the defense table.
Raisman, US team captain of the 2012 London Olympics’ gold-winning “Fierce Five” team and also a 2016 gold medalist, mocked Nassar for a letter he submitted to the judge Thursday, in which he asked to limit the number of victim statements because listening was too painful.
“You think this is hard for you?” asked Raisman, who said she was molested by Nassar even during the Olympics.
“Imagine how all of us feel. Imagine how it feels to be an innocent teenager in a foreign country, hearing a knock on the door, and it’s you,” she said of his mandatory “treatments.”
The judge said Friday at least 120 victim statements will be read before she pronounces judgment on Nassar, who faces life in prison. So far roughly 80 statements have been heard.
Also Friday, gymnast Jordyn Wieber became the fourth member of the Fierce Five to accuse the once-respected sports doctor of violating her.
In addition to Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney have also come forward with horrifying stories of violation.
“I thought training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do,” said Wieber, 22.
“But the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” she said, “is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar.”