Aly Raisman gets fierce with Nassar, USOC, and USA Gymnastics
(WJBK) - Aly Raisman finally got her chance to speak at the sentencing for Larry Nassar, the former MSU, USA Gymnastics and Olympics doctor convicted of sexual assaulting more than 100 girls who are now women. She did not hold back.
Raisman, part of the famous Fierce Five at the London Olympics, eviscerated Nassar for his actions against her and the other women he assaulted.
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"You are pathetic to think that anyone would have any sympathy for you. You think this is hard for you? Imagine how all of us feel," Raisman said, referring to Nassar's complaint filed earlier this week that he couldn't sit through four days of testimony.
VIDEO: Watch Raisman deliver her blistering testimony in the video above
Raisman had the podium for almost 15 minutes and by the time she was done, she was met with applause from the courtroom and gratitude from the judge.
She told Judge Rosemarie Aquilina that she didn't think she would speak at his sentencing but she watched other victims come forward, she knew she had to act.
"You do realize that we, the women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing," she said directly at Nassar. "The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices and we are not going anywhere."
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Raisman was just getting started on Nassar.
"You abused the power and trust I and so many others placed in you," she said. "You were the USA Gymnastics national team doctor. You were trusted by so many and took advantage of countless athletes and their families."
Raisman said survivors can be haunted by the abuse for the rest of their lives and can question organizations and medical professionals.
"I regained my strength, I'm no longer a victim, I'm a survivor."
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Raisman described how Nassar knocked on the door of her hotel room and that she didn't want him there. She said she didn't have a choice and that Nassar would tell the USOC if she refused his 'treatment'.
"You caused me a great deal of physical, mental and emotional pain. You never healed me," she said. "You took advantage of our passions and our dreams. You made me uncomfortable and I thought you were weird. But I felt guilty because you were a doctor so I assumed I was the problem for thinking badly of you."
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She made a promise to Nassar.
"I will not rest until every last trace of your influence on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer it is."
Then, she turned her attention to the organizations Nassar worked for. The abuse started 30 years ago, she said, and that's just the first reported case they know about.
"If just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided. I and so many others would have never, ever met you."
Nassar should have been locked up long ago, she said, and questioned how he slept at night considering the USAG and USOC both put him on their advisory board and committees to come up with policies to protect athletes from abuse that he committed.
Kerry Perry, the USAG president put out a statement this week saying she came to Nassar's trial to hear victims speak and that 'their powerful voices leave an indelible impact on me and will impact my decisions as President and CEO every day.'
Raisman was not impressed.
"Talk is cheap. You left midway through the day. Nobody has heard from you or the board."
Perry, who was named president in November 2017, was not overseeing the USAG during Nassar's time but she will be left to deal with the aftermath of the abuse.
"Continuing to release statements of empty promises thinking that will pacify us will no longer work," Raisman said.
She then took on the USAG's decision to terminate its lease at Karolyi Ranch where the national team trains and where Nassar committed sexual abuse. Raisman said they neglected to mention that athletes had been training, even when they terminated the lease.
"Where is the honest? Where is the transparency? Why must the manipulation continue?"
She said the USAG and USOC have not reached out to athletes to express sympathy or support.
"Larry was an Olympic doctor and he molested me at the 2012 London Olympic Games," she said.
"They say now they applaud those who have spoken out but it's easy to say that now when the brave women who started speaking out back then, who said they knew about Nassar, were dismissed," she said.
In 2016, the USOC refused to investigate Nassar and defended the USAG to develop policy to protect athletes.
"That's the response a courageous women gets when she speaks out? And when others join those athletes and begin speaking out with more stories of abuse, were they acknowledged? No. it is like being abused all over again."
She said she represented the USA at two Olympics and both the USAG and USOC were quick to capitalize and celebrate her success. But they never reached out when she came forward.
"Talk is worthless to me. We're dealing with real lives and the future of our sport."
She said the organizations need to understand what happened and why and that's the only way to learn and make the sport safer for young girls.
"Each new day brings a new survivor, we have no idea how much damage you caused, Larry, and how deep these problems go. Now is the time to acknowledge the very person who sits here before us now, who perpetrated the worst epidemic of sexual abuse in the history of sports, who is going to be locked up for a long, long time. This monster was also the architect of policies and procedures that are supposed to protect athletes from sexual abuse from both USAG and the USOC. "
As Raisman approached the end of her statement, she said there needs to be independent investigations into what happened, what went wrong, and why. Only then, she said, would they know what changes are needed.
Then she ended with this promise.
"Let this sentence strike fear in anyone who thinks its okay to hurt another person: Abusers, your time is up. Survivors are here, standing tall, and we are not going anywhere."