On Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, Aly Raisman shocked the world when she appeared in court in Lansing, MI, to deliver a profound, 13-minute testimony to Larry Nassar, the man who abused her, and several other USA Women Gymnastics athletes. The 23-year-old Olympic medalist previously tweeted that she would not be attending the former team doctor’s hearing explaining that it would be “too traumatic.”
“My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar,” she shared on Twitter. “I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together.” But, after hearing the other brave testimonies, she changed her mind and delivered an incredibly moving statement explaining what happened to her due to Nassar’s criminal behavior and USA Gymnastics negligence.
“The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere,” she courageously stated. “Larry, you abused the power and trust I and so many others placed in you, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly you manipulated and violated me.”
Aly admitted last year on CBS’s 60 Minutes that she had been sexually abused by Nassar. She became the second member of the London Olympics “Fierce Five” to accuse the former team doctor.
“I was just really innocent — I didn’t know,” she explained. “I trusted him.” When asked if she thought she was receiving standard treatment, she replied, “I didn’t know anything differently. We were told ‘he’s the best doctor. He’s the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor and we were very lucky we were able to see him.'”
He has since been accused of sexual assault by dozens of gymnasts and athletes and has been charged with more than 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Her Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles have also come forward accusing Nassar of sexual abuse.
“People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood,” McKayla said. “I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.” She explained that the abuse began when she was a young 13-year-old athlete and continued during the London Olympic Games. “He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night,” she added.
Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher also accused Nassar of sexually abusing her. “He would put his fingers inside of me, move my leg around,” she said last year. “He would tell me I was going to feel a pop and that that would put my hips back and help my back pain.”
Aly concluded her statement saying, “My dream is that one day everyone will know what the words, ‘me, too,’ signify, but they will be educated and able to protect themselves from predators like Larry so that they will never, ever, ever have to say the words, ‘me, too.'”