Needham native Aly Raisman takes stand against disgraced doctor Larry Nassar


Nassar, a longtime United States women's gymnastics team physician who has been accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment, was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for an existing child abuse images case. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have said they, too, were victims.

"Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing", Raisman said. "We are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere". In December, Maroney filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, alleging the organization sought to buy her silence over Nassar with a confidential settlement agreement a year ago and that USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University - which employed him as a full-time athletic trainer - failed to respond to warning signs, permitting Nassar to abuse Maroney and others.

Raisman arrived in court at 9 a.m. accompanying her 2012 teammate Jordyn Wieber, who made the first victim statement of the morning.

"To this day, I still don't know how he could have been allowed to do this for so long", said Wieber, who was the latest woman to assert oversight failures at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State allowed abuse to occur.

"You are so sick I can not even comprehend how angry I am when I think of you", she said.

Raisman also made sure to point out that many of Nassar's victims might never be known. Nasser has already been sentenced to 60 years for child pornography charges. I have both power and voice and I am only beginning to use them. "And now, Larry? It's your turn to listen to me". "You are one of the toughest people I have ever met". U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable.and now it's time for change, because the future gymnasts do not deserve to live in fear.

"Now this is entertaining to me", Aquilina said while reading the letter aloud in court on Thursday, January 18.

If you want to know what strength is, look no further than Aly Raisman.

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She then vowed to bring abuse to an end in the world of gymnastics.

That paved the way for what turned out to be an absolutely chilling impact statement, in which a courageous Raisman didn't hold back whatsoever. "I can not adequately capture the level of disgust I feel when I think about how this happened".

Before a packed courtroom, Wieber said, "I am one of 140 women and survivors whose story is important".

"Over those 30 years when survivors came forward, adult after adult, many in positions of authority, protected you, telling each survivor it was okay - that you weren't abusing them".

USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry took over on December 1, 2017 after her predecessor Steve Penny resigned earlier in the year following the Nassar scandal.

Many of them spoke tearfully of how the abuse at the hands of Nassar, the former national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics, left them emotionally scarred and angry. "Who was the doctor USA Gymnastics sent to help us get through?"

More than 100 women have requested to speak, testimony will continue Monday.

"She was always a strong-willed kid", said Noller, of Lake Worth, Fla.