I have spent the last two days reading news reports about Lawrence Nassar, former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics’ doctor regarding multiple sexual abuse charges against him. So far 160 victims have come forward to relate the horror of his abuse. Reading the different accounts caused a rage and a sorrow in me I have not felt in a long time. How could something like this happen? I list below clips from various news reports.
Nassar has already been given 60 years in federal prison for child pornography found on his computers; his attorneys plan to appeal the punishment, which involves three consecutive 20-year sentences. Why are we not notifying the public the severity of the punishment for having child pornography? How many actually know that for many this is the first step in becoming a pedophile?
Mr. Nassar, a gymnastic doctor, worked at Karolyi Ranch and had even conducted his abuse in front of unaware parents and staff from the ranch. He had been sexually abusing young girls for more than twenty years. The webpage for the legendary Karolyi Ranch where these gymnasts trained announced the training facility known around the world for producing female Olympic gymnasts has permanently closed and is currently under investigation.
More than two dozen women who said they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, dating back to the early 1990s, gave victim-impact statements in a Ingham County, Mich., courtroom. The statements were read ahead of Nassar’s sentence on 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Together, their words painted a horrific picture of Nassar’s unabated, predatory behavior as he preyed on women and girls as young as 6 years old, all while he enjoyed the highest levels of success in his field.
The accusation in all the suits is essentially the same: The institutions and people that should have been protecting Nassar’s patients failed miserably, allowing him unfettered access to his victims and ignoring red flags for years that he was a serial predator. USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where Mr. Nassar had his medical practice, have recently asked for the suits to be dismissed. The state university says it has immunity and that officials didn’t learn of allegations against Nassar until 2016; anyone who received a complaint was not a mandatory reporter, the school argued. USA Gymnastics contends the statute of limitations has expired and that it did enough by alerting the FBI to an athlete’s complaint.
Many adults knew the abuse was happening at the ranch and they did not do anything to stop it or remained silent; they could face criminal charges. For 16 months Karolyi Ranch allowed children to see Larry Nassar under their guidance, while he was under criminal investigation.
More than 150 lawsuits have been filed by Nassar’s accusers in federal court in Michigan and state court in California, variously naming the convicted doctor; USA Gymnastics, where he was team physician; Michigan State University, where he had his medical practice; the U.S. Olympic Committee; the Twistars gymnastics club; and famed coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi. Nassar, 54, told Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, in a six-page letter that she was creating a “four-day media circus,” and suggested the dozens of statements already issued by his alleged victims were being used to ensure the “cameras will be directed toward” the judge.
Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor who has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault complained to the judge in a Michigan courtroom Thursday that listening to four days of victim impact statements was “detrimental to his mental health.” He complained Thursday that he cannot stand the stress of listening to dozens of young women cry and scream at him for what he did.
“You may find it harsh that you are here listening,” the judge is seen telling Nassar in video from the courtroom. “But nothing is as harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands. Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you’ve had at their expense and ruining their lives.”
Donna Markham brought many in the courtroom to tears with her heart-wrenching statement. Donna was the mother of Chelsea Markham, who was molested by Nassar with Donna in the room when she was just 10 years old. Chelsea committed suicide when she was 23.
Once a world-renowned sports physician treating America’s foremost Olympic women gymnasts, Larry Nassar now will spend the rest of his life behind bars. His sentence, a total of 175 years almost seems too light.
What emerged from these bits and pieces of his case and also listening to the testimony of many of the women was that child sexual perpetrators have a set of internal rules, their philosophy so to speak:
• There is nothing wrong with sexually abusing young children. Most of the time it is their fault anyway. (my 2nd husband when confronted with the truth of having sexually abused two of my daughters used this as his justification)
• It is never about the victims. They don’t count. If the pedophile is accused of wrong doing it is “detrimental to their health” to have to listen to vile accusations.
• What they are doing is in fact a good thing for the child; it is making them stronger, better able to win at what they were being trained for.
• The normal rules of society don’t apply to them. They create their own world where children are theirs for the taking and no wrong doing is going on.
• Pedophiles have a disconnect between their actions and the tragedy it inflicts on their victims. When caught with their hand in the cookie jar they always say, “what cookie jar?”
If pedophiles serve time in a regular prison, and others within the population find out the nature of their crimes, the sex offenders become vulnerable to extortion or violence from countless people who abhor individuals that prey on children or women or any type of sex offense. They will get a taste of their own medicine. There is a God after all and He has His own plan for what will happen to pedophiles once they drop their body and enter his domain.
It’s a monumentally screwed up world!
Parents please! Teach your children how to protect themselves from being sexually abused. And to say that you teach your children to stay away from strangers has no bearing. The largest percent of pedophiles know their victim. Most are even family members. I encourage you to contact King County Sexual Assault Resource Center in Renton, WA. Their telephone number is 425.226.5062.They publish a pamphlet called he told me not to tell, a parents’ guide to talking to children about sexual assault. They will mail you one free of charge. It is an excellent guide and I urge all parents to read it with their child.