Perv doctor victim says she still gets bills for sessions where she was assaulted
A 15-year-old girl who was repeatedly molested by former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar revealed Monday that her mom is still “getting billed for the appointments where I was sexually assaulted.”
During an impassioned victim impact statement in a Michigan court, Emma Ann Miller, alongside her mother, Leslie Miller, told how she “trusted” Nassar like a “family member,” explaining that she had known him all her life.
“It’s always been just my mom and I. I needed a positive male role model in my life. Nassar had filled that role for me,” she said during the marathon sentencing hearing for the ex-doctor.
“There has never been a time in my life where I did not know Larry Nassar. Now I wish I’d never met him.”
As a child, she accompanied her mother to medical appointments conducted by Nassar. At age 10, Miller was a monthly patient of Nassar’s for a back injury. Her last treatment with him was in August 2016 — a month before Michigan State University, where Nassar was on the faculty, announced his firing, she said.
“I, too, was sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar multiple times at multiple appointments,” Miller said, adding, “I am possibly the last child he will ever assault.”
The teenager said Michigan State University charged her for the appointments, and her mother is still receiving the bills.
MSU spokesman Jason Cody said Monday in an e-mail: “[P]atients of former MSU physician Larry Nassar will not be billed.”
Miller said she was “honored” to be a patient of the former Team USA gymnastics doctor and noted how he called her by the nickname “Goof-ball.”
“That nickname will forever haunt me,” she said.
Speaking directly to the 54-year-old Nassar as he sat at the defense table, an emboldened Miller said: “I have never wanted to hate someone in my life, but my hate towards you is uncontrollable. Larry Nassar, I hate you.”
Miller said she was even abused by Nassar in a supply room.
The teen told Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who is overseeing the case, that “a 40-year minimum sentence is not long enough.”
“His legacy as a medical god has been poisoned by his sickening desire to molest children,” said Miller. “The word ‘Nassar’ will permanently be associated with child sexual abuse.”
Nassar, who has admitted molesting athletes during treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, faces life in federal prison for sexually abusing victims under the guise of medical treatment.
As of Monday — day five of Nassar’s sentencing hearing — more than 95 survivors have come forward to speak in Ingham County Circuit Court.
Those speaking Monday included Clasina Syrovy, a gymnast who started at Great Lakes Gymnastics Club and only decided to reveal herself as a victim of Nassar’s last week.
“I remember seeing [Nassar] on TV and thinking, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky to have Larry available to help me,’” she said during an emotional statement.
At Great Lakes where Nassar assisted young gymnasts, Syrovy said the former sports physician “established a bond.”
“He was our confidante. He was our friend. I remember him telling me he was my advocate — that he would stand up for me to my coaches and mom if I couldn’t,” she said. “Having Larry at our disposal for our injuries was almost an honor.”
Syrovy said she saw Nassar at MSU for treatment that “included vaginal penetration to treat my lower back pain.”
“During treatment, one hand would be on my lower back massaging, pressing, and one hand would be in between my legs with his fingers inside me. I would cry, I would cry because it hurt,” she told the court. “It felt like he was ripping my vagina apart.”
Syrovy said her mother was in the room during the treatments.
“He would see tears leaking out of my eyes and say, ‘I have to get really deep in there’ and ‘I can tell it’s very tight.’”
She said at the time she “thought nothing of it.”
“I was being seen by the best. I trusted him, and I trusted the treatment,” Syrovy said. “I now question the intent of the comments he made. His words haunt me. Was he referring to my back or my vagina?”
In addressing Nassar directly, Syrovy asked: “Larry, how many of us are there? Do you even know? Did you even keep track?”
“Shame on you, Larry. Shame on you. We trusted you were doing the right thing … when it was only for your own sexual gratification. How selfish.”
She added: “You tainted the sport I love. You have made it so that I am embarrassed to tell people I was a gymnast. You have torn apart the gymnastics world. But look at us, Larry. We are here putting it together, trying to make sense of what you did and salvage the sport.”
“I hope your kids don’t suffer in the shadow of what you did,” Syrovy said, adding: “After today, I will not cry anymore. I am done. I am fed up with the magnitude to which this tragedy has spiraled into. You are a disaster.”
The judge called Syrovy “an advocate for all victims, for all survivors.
“Your strength, your courage, your words will haunt him,” Aquilina said.
Another victim to speak in court Monday, Marta Stern, a physical therapist, recalled how she would see Nassar for treatment and he would “digitally penetrate me until I was sore and raw.”
“Every time we would drive home from our appointments, I would recline the chair in the car and sit with tears streaming down my cheeks,” Stern said.
“What you did to me always felt wrong,” Stern, who is eight months pregnant, said with her husband at her side. “You destroyed my ability to trust.”
Stern said that as a medical professional herself, “I am sickened and angered by your abuse of power for your own self-gain.”
Following her statement, Aquilina told Stern she is “going to be such a comfort to all of those patients who you have and treat.”