Megan Halicek, a fifteen year old gymnast was recovering from a broken spine, trusted in Dr. Larry Nassar, the USA gymnastics team doctor, for her recovery, but instead, he continuously sexualy assaulted her.
“He abused me, all the while telling me stories about his Olympic journey,” Halicek said. “I closed my eyes tight, I held my breath, and I wanted to puke. To this day, those feelings are still there.”
Several United States gymnasts on the Olympic team have come forward, including gold medalist Simone Biles.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles said. “There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.”
Nassar kept a reputation as an educated doctor, which influenced USA gymnastics to keep many girls, including Olympian Aly Raisman, quiet.
“I was told to be quiet,” Raisman said. “I think that when somebody in high power is telling you to be quiet, right when they realized you are abused, I think that that is a threat, and especially when their first concern should be to make sure I’m okay, to get information from me, to see if my other teammates were abused, to see what else I knew, to get to the bottom of it.”
Over 140 women have accused Nassar of harassment, including Michigan State University student Alexis Alvarado.
“Larry, how many of us are there? Do you even know? Did you keep track? Do you know the number keeps rising?” Alvarado said. “And that’s only the girls that are actually coming forward. How is it Larry that your secret was kept for so long? You were MSU’s biggest kept secret.”
Currently, the trial is occurring and Nassar originally pleaded not guilty, but later apologized. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina believes he is unsafe and not sincere.
“This letter, which comes two months after your plea, tells me you have not yet owned what you did,” Aquilina said. “You still think that somehow you are right, that you are a doctor, that you are entitled, that you don’t have to listen and that you did treatment. I wouldn’t send my dogs to you sir.”