Olympic athletes face the monster who sexually abused them

Emma Ann Miller, 15, spoke next to her mother.Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal, via Associated Press

The horrendous stories from the Olympic athletes sexually molested and harassed while in the care of a Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the “must-see” physician for the best young gymnasts in the United States, provide a harrowing look at a cancer in our society.

The scars from Nassar’s molestation scarred these mostly underage women will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Reading statements in The New York Times and The Washington Post from some of the 153 victims who stood before Nasser before his sentencing this week is both educating and sickening.

Young gymnast Amy Ladadie:

My vagina was sore during my competition because of this man. How disgusting is that to even say out loud?

Gymnast Guerrero:

You seem to have a hard time looking at me now, but didn’t when I was half-naked on you table, What kind of doctor can tell a 13-year-old they are done growing by the size of their pubic bone?

Gymnast Emma Ann Miller:

Please don’t waste your allocution on your grief, our regret or any other emotion. Don’t tell us how you and God have made amends, or how you are different. You need to confess the facts.

Swimmer Marie Anderson:

My parents, who had my best interests, will forever have to live with the fact that they continually brought their daughter to a sexual predator, and were in the room when he assaulted me.

Mattie Larson, gymnast and world championship medalist:

The Olympics were just one year away. And I just couldn’t take any more of the abuse. I was broken. Larry, my coaches and U.S.A. Gymnastics turned the sport I fell in love with as a kid into my personal living hell.

Aly Raisman, gymnast and six-time Olympic medalist:

Let this sentence strike fear in anyone who thinks it is O.K. to hurt another person. Abusers, your time is up. The survivors are here, standing tall, and we are not going anywhere.

Jamie Dantzscher, gymnast and Olympic medalist:

I was attacked on social media. … People didn’t believe me, even people I thought were my friends. They called me a liar, a whore, and even accused me of making all of this up just to get attention.

Larry Nassar was the team doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics and an employee of Michigan State University. The victims said they reported his actions to both U.S.A. Gymnastics and the University, starting as early as 1997.

The victims faced disbelief from both Gymnastics U.S.A. and MSU officials and harassment by those who needed help.

Maybe, we can hope, this culture that has existed far too long is changing.  Such cultures exists throughout America and reach into even Floyd County, where the case docket of the local Circuit Court is riddled with sexual crimes against underage women and children. An upcoming trial centers on charges of sexual molestation of student athletes.

Longtime MSU President Lou Anna Simon resigned Wednesday.  Other heads should roll.

Nassar’s victims included Olympic medalists and all-round Olympic champions Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas.

Other victims were dancers, rowers and runners plus volleyball and soccer players. A swimmer and a figure skater came forward. So did a family friend who said Nasser abused her when she was six years old.

In a letter to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, Nasser said he was a victim because “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” When she read that part of the letter out loud, mamy in the audience in the courtroom gasped.

“It was not treatment what you did; it was not medical,” Aquilina told Nasser. “I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir.”

Aquilina tossed the letter aside, accepted Nasser’s guilty pleas to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison, which is on top of a 60-year-sentence for federal child pornography crimes.

“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” she told Nasser.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse