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Aly Raisman delivers powerful testimony against abusive Team USA doctor
Olympian gymnast Aly Raisman joined over a hundred other women who provided testimonies against former Team USA physician Larry Nassar inside a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom this week.
Raisman and the other women all said Nassar molested them when providing them with treatment for injuries at Karolyi Ranch, the training center for the U.S. national team run by Bela and Martha Karolyi.
Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges, according to ESPN. Now he faces an additional prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the Ingham County case. The attorney general’s office has asked for a 125-year sentence, but the actual sentencing is expected to be delivered Tuesday.
Raisman directed her speech to Nassar and did not hold back.
“Larry, you do realize now that we—this fearless group of women—you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force and you are nothing,” she said. “The tables have turned, Larry, and we are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
Raisman also discussed how difficult it has been to come to terms with the abuse and form words to describe the anger she feels.
“Larry, you abused the power and trust that 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,” she said.
Raisman first came public about the abuse in November, when she did an interview with 60 Minutes. It followed shortly after her former teammate McKayla Maroney came forward. Now Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas have also publicly accused Nassar, meaning that four out of the famous “Fierce Five” team who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics were allegedly abused by Nassar.
Raisman also discusses the abuse in her book, Fierce.
Hundreds of women tweeted support to Raisman following her testimony.
— Luz Moreno-Lozano (@LuzMorenoLozano) January 19, 2018
“You were never the problem, but you are very much the solution” – Judge Aquilina @Aly_Raisman is a powerful force. Her composure, her insight & her delivery are a literal marvel. USA Gymnastics would be wise to lean on her as they enact sweeping, necessary changes. https://t.co/N7qSaphlMo
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) January 19, 2018
We realize that you were scared and emotional, but @Aly_Raisman you are an amazing role model to put that to the side and read your own statement in front of that monster and call out every single enabler. You are strong, you are a champion and you are an inspiration.
— Lexi Scott (@lexiskywalker) January 19, 2018
In her testimony on Thursday, Raisman also criticized USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympics Committee for having not reached out following the allegations against Nassor or offering any kind of support to the victims. According to Raisman, the abuse she and other women experienced happened because these organizations systemically enabled Nasser to do so.
“For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change and we need to be willing to fight for it,” Raisman said. “It’s clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself.”
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.