Dozens of victims confront ex-doctor during sentencing

LANSING, Mich - Dozens of women and girls are getting the chance to face the man who sexually abused them for years.

Twenty-nine out of nearly 100 women who plan to speak or have their statements read at former doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing addressed him directly Tuesday, calling him a master manipulator, conniving and calculating.

One of Nassar’s victims, Kyle Stephens, was the first to read her impact statement in Ingham County Court.

She said, “Perhaps you have figured it out by now but little girls don't stay little forever. They grow into strong women that in turn destroy your world.”

She’s just one of many expected to speak over the course of a few days.

“I had been coming to you for a long time. I’ve told counselors your name in hopes that they would report you. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges and now, as the only non-medical victim to come forward, I testified to let the world know that you are a repulsive liar.”

Stephens was just 6 years old when Nassar, a family friend, repeatedly abused her until she was 12.

She said, “After my parents confronted you, they brought you back to my house to speak with me. Sitting on my living room couch, I listened to you tell me no one should ever do that and if they do, you should tell someone. Well Larry, I'm here not to tell someone, to tell everyone."

Nassar, kept his head down in court, eyes closed or looking away, as victims came forward one by one.

Another victim, Jessica Thomashow said,  “What you did to me was so twisted. You manipulated me and my entire family. How dare you.”

Nassar has pleaded guilty to molesting females under the guise of “treatment” at his Michigan State University office, his home and a Lansing-area gymnastics club.

The mother of Chelsea Markham also spoke, telling the judge how her daughter took her own life in 2009, years after Nassar abused her.

She said, “The worst part for her was that, this was a man that was supposed to be the best in his field. He was supposed to help her. He was supposed to help her heal, but he didn’t. He abused her. He sexually abused her and he had the audacity to do that while I was sitting right there in the room.”

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina consoled the victims, telling them the abuse was not and never will be their fault, and after so many years of silence, their voices are finally being heard.

Judge Aquilina said, “You talk about being broken…well, he’s going to break while you’re healing and I believe that he will remain broken. More broken than he was as he committed these crimes against all of you, because only a broken person can do such a vile thing.”

The Attorney General’s office is seeking 40 to 125 years in prison for Nassar.

125 would be one year for every victim who filed reports of abuse with MSU campus police.

He’s already been sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges.

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