Larry Nassar: Father of abuse victim attacks paedophile former USA gymnastics doctor

‘Give me five minutes alone in a room with this demon’

Andrew Buncombe
New York
@AndrewBuncombe
Friday 02 February 2018 15:25
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Father of victim lunges at Larry Nassar in shocking courtroom footage

The father of three young women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, lunged at the disgraced former sports doctor during the latest court hearing.

Video footage of the proceedings in Michigan, showed Randall Margraves trying to grab Nassar while one of his daughters, Madison Margraves, was addressing the court.

Moments earlier, he had asked the judge to give him “five minutes” in a locked room with the ex-doctor, whom he described as a “demon”. The judge said she could not do that and Mr Margraves then asked for one minute alone with him. When she also said that was not possible, he ran at the defendant and was grabbed by court security staff.

First whistle-blower in Larry Nassar abuse scandal Rachael Denhollander given standing ovation in court

The Associated Press said crying could be heard in the courtroom as Nassar was escorted out. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told families in the courtroom to “use your words” and that violence “is not helping your children”.

The drama happened as dozens of young women continue to deliver impact statements to the latest of several courts to punish the former celebrated doctor who abused young women and girls over a 20-year period.

Last month, Nassar was sentenced to between 40 to 175 years in prison when he appeared before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. She told him he would never leave jail and that she had signed his “death warrant”.

Under a deal reached with the 54-year-old last year, the former doctor pleaded guilty to 10 sexual assault charges divided between two Michigan counties – seven in Ingham County and three in Eaton County. Both plea deals included agreements that his minimum sentence would be between 25 and 40 years.

The three charges in Eaton County relate to incidents involving two girls aged between 13 and 15 and one aged younger than 13.

It said the abuse occurred between September 2009 and September 2011, at the Gedderts’ Twistars Gymnastics Club.

The latest statements from young women were being made in an Eaton County court hearing overseen by Judge Janice Cunningham.

They came a day after a lawyer for Nassar, Shannon Smith, had told a local radio station she had doubts about the large number of women and girls who have said they were victims.

The judge said Nassar had not authorised the statement and had disavowed it. Ms Cunningham said it was “unfortunate” Ms Smith made the comments during the sentencing proceedings.

“What is relevant is for the court to hear each individual story and how the criminal actions of the defendant impacted each individual’s life,” said the judge.

Before Madison Margraves spoke to the court, her sister, Lauren, had also done so, saying that she had gone to see Nassar when she was aged 13 after suffering a bad injury.

“I feel like I’ll never be able to trust another man again. My two sisters have had a hard time talking about this,” she said, according to tweets posted by Clayton Cummins, a television reporter for the local WILX-TV.

She added that her parents felt a regret they cannot put aside. “The guilt they have will never go away,” she said.

Last December, a federal judge separately sentenced Nassar to 60 years in prison for three child pornography charges.

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