Nassar taken down after twenty years of abuse


Biles (left) an Raisman (right) are both survivors of Nassar's sexual assault.

Rebecca Crook, Ranger Review Editor

Every gymnast was told to trust him by authorities. “Your children are so lucky to have the best doctor,” the US Gymnastics Coaches would tell their young girls. “They are so lucky to work with Dr. Larry.” Hundreds of girls would undergo his “treatment”, many without knowing that they were being taken advantage of by a sexual predator.

Since 1992, USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar has been sexually abusing young girls, most of which were minors. He got away with damaging children physically, mentally, and emotionally for almost twenty years before his victims decided to speak up.

The public became aware of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse scandal right around the time that the #MeToo hashtag began trending in November of 2017 on Instagram and Twitter. Thousands of men, women, and children tweeted out the #MeToo hashtag, revealing that they have been victims of sexual abuse. A few of Nassar’s survivors spoke out through the hashtag and the public began to look into Nassar as a possible abuser.

Soon after, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges, as of December 7th, 2017. Nassar’s reaction made many people upset, according to “So for four months of porn possession from 2004, I was sentenced to 60 years. Not proper, appropriate, or fair” Nassar reacted.

In late December of 2017, McKayla Maroney, a US gymnast who is a victim, filed a lawsuit against Nassar, Michigan State University, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics. Maroney accused both Michigan State, the Olympic Committee, and USA Gymnastics of ignoring many young girls’ complaints against the multitude of crimes that Nassar repeatedly committed. Individuals have been accused of dismissing sexual assault complaints against Nassar and telling teenagers to keep quiet and let the abusive behavior slide.    

According to survivors,14 staffers at MSU knew about Nassar’s abuse against young girls and said nothing since the early nineties.

The allegations keep rolling in from young girls who have been molested by Nassar. Over 180 victims have been identified and 150 victims spoke against Nassar at his trial in January 2018, according to CNN.

A small number of Nassar’s sexual assault survivors consist of Jamie Dantzscher, Jeanette Antolin, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols, Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and Jordyn Wieber. These women are only a few that have been recognized by the public- hundreds of other victims remain.

“I ask you to give Larry the strongest possible sentence which his actions deserve, for by doing so you will send a message to him and to other abusers that they can not get away with their horrible crimes,” Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman said in her victim impact statement recently in Nassar’s trial.

As of his January court hearing, Nassar was given 40-175 years in state prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, on top of the 60 years he earned in December of 2017. Aquilina did not hesitate to show her bias against Nassar as she gave him the upward of a life sentence.

“I just signed your death warrant” Aquilina said as she showed no mercy for Nassar. “Your decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable…” Aquilina said. “…you can’t give them back their innocence, their youth.”

Aquilina proceeded to throw Nassar’s statement letter in the air, in which he said he couldn’t “mentally” handle four days of listening to victim-impact statements.The public is taking a very white or black stance on Aquilina’s rule; she was either too harsh by sentencing Nassar with a life sentence, or she sentenced him perfectly by never letting him see the light of day again.

Since this scandal has started, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill that would require National Governing Body Members in charge Olympic sports to report sexual assault allegations directly to law enforcement.

As horrible as Nassar’s actions were, it sets as an example for other young victims due to sexual assault that speaking up about abuse is a definite option. Young girls everywhere can now see that abuse is not taken lightly but the public and that society will not accept to just sweep it under the rug.