Tough to Watch: Nassar Accuser Explains How He Used His Daughter to Manipulate Her

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Posted: Jan 24, 2018 7:15 PM
Tough to Watch: Nassar Accuser Explains How He Used His Daughter to Manipulate Her

The seventh and last day of victims' statements at USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing provided perhaps the most powerful testimony of the week. 

Rachel Denhollander was the first victim to come forward to accuse Nassar of sexual abuse while she was a student at Michigan State University. She was alone with her accusations for months, until dozens more women came forward to reveal they too had been abused by Nassar. She shared her story again in court on Wednesday, shortly before her abuser was sentenced to 175 years behind bars.

"Larry meticulously groomed me for the purpose of exploiting me for his sexual gain," Denhollander said. "He penetrated me, he fondled me, and then he whispered questions in my ear about how it felt. And he enjoyed it. He asked how it felt because he wanted to know."

During one visit, Denhollander recalled tearfully how Nassar tried to use his own daughter as a pawn for his crimes.

"I can speak the truth about my abuse without minimization, or mitigation, and I can call it evil, because I know what goodness is." she said. "And this is why I pity you."

Denhollander earned the rightful praise of the judge.

Among the other young women who shared their stories of abuse was 15-year-old Emma Ann Miller, who described herself as perhaps "the last woman" Nassar will ever assault. Miller explained that Nassar inappropriately touched her at Michigan State University. Unbelievably, she is still being billed by the school for those appointments.

Both MSU, as well as USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee, are being condemned by the victims for allowing Nassar to continue to have access to young women. Olympians like Aly Raisman have publicly criticized the committee and AT&T announced Tuesday that it is suspending its sponsorship of USA Gymnastics. 

Michigan assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis commended all of the young women who had come to the courtroom to tell their difficult stories.

"We have seen the worst of humanity and the best, in the past few days," she said, adding that all of the victims who spoke out were her "heroes."

You can watch Denhollander's full testimony below.