Day three of the Larry Nassar sentencing kicked off on a strange note Thursday, with the disgraced doctor submitting a letter to the court.
Nassar wrote in the letter that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was conducting a 'four-day media circus' for her own gain, and claimed that 'listening to impact statements is detrimental to his mental health.'
Fifty women have delivered victim impact statements at this point, and another 55 are still scheduled to speak as new women are calling the district attorney's office to add their names to the list each day.
'She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed toward her,' Nassar wrote in his six-page, single-spaced complaint.
Later in the day, the attorney general's office read a statement on behalf of 2012 Olympian McKayla Maroney, who could not be in attendance.
There had been concern that she might not be able to speak without incurring a $100,000 fine as part of her 2016 settlement with USA Gymnastics which included a NDA that Maroney is now challenging in a lawsuit.
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Where to begin: Judge Aquilina then spent ten minutes responding to the six-page, single-spaced complaint
Dumb: Larry Nassar (above on Thursday with his lawyer) said in a letter submitted to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on Thursday that 'listening to impact statements is detrimental to his mental health'
Proud moment: Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis said that she was proud to be able to stand and deliver the statement from McKayla Maroney (above)
Judge Aquilina, who has spent the past two days individually addressing each victim after they deliver their statements in court, did the same for Nassar in the wake of his comments.
She began with a bit of a caveat however, explaining: 'I am not a therapist. But if I was, I would not be yours.'
Judge Aquilina did show some empathy as well for the convicted child molester, responding to Nassar's claim that he twice passed out before his federal sentencing back in December by saying: 'I'm sorry about that, sir. I wish you well.'
'This isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, there’s no truth in there, it’s delusional,' said Judge Aquilina, who pointed out that Nassar signed off on this when he accepted a plea deal.
'I didn't orchestrate this, you did,' she reminded Nassar.
Judge Aquilina also referred to his words as 'mumbo jumbo' during her ten-minute response to Nassar's mental health concerns, before pointing out that he got off easier than the women in that courtroom.
'You may find it harsh that you are here listening. But nothing is as harsh than what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands,' said Judge Aquilina.
'Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you’ve had at their expense and ruining their lives.'
She then noted: 'None of this should come as a surprise to you.'
Nassar then got even more bad news when Judge Aquilina reminded him that 125 women were offered the chance to speak and said she would extend the hearing for as long as it took for each of those victims to deliver their impact statements.
Judge Aquilina also found some time for humor while addressing Nassar's complaint as well, with the serial predator sitting silently in the witness stand as she spoke.
'Now this is entertaining to me,' she said at one point, before reading from Nassar's letter.
'Aquilina said if I pass out she'll have the EMTs revive me and prop me up in the witness box.'
The judge took a beat and paused before looking at Nassar and saying: 'I suspect you have watched too much television. It's delusional. You need to talk about these issues with a therapist and that's not me.'
She then move don to his next grievance, reading: 'Aquilina is allowing them all to talk. She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed at her.'
Judge Aquilina looked at Nassar in disbelief, before responding: 'I don't have a dog in this fight, sir. I didn't want even one victim to lose their voice.'
It was also revealed while Judge Aquilina was going through the letter that court adjourned early on Wednesday so Nassar could receive treatment from mental health professionals.
No smiles: 'I remember your obnoxious laugh,' said Jamie Dantzscher. 'I don’t see you laughing now.'
Let me clear my throat: Lindsey Lemke (above) took the podium to address some of Nassar's enabler, delivering an impassioned indictment of the doctor's friends and employers.
Difficult day: She then broke down in tears, saying she told herself she was not going to cry (above)
Olympian Jamie Dantzscher was the first to speak on Thursday, with the member of the 2000 team that went to Sydney looking right at her abuser.
'Dr. Nassar is no doctor at all, I'll refer to him as Larry,' she said to start.
'I remember your obnoxious laugh and how you would slurp the drool off your lip,' recalled the Bronze-medalist at one point.
'I don’t see you laughing now.'
She declined to detail her abuse however, and explained her reason.
'I'm not going to say everything you did to me because I know a sick bastard like you will enjoy hearing it,' said Dantzscher.
Dantzscher did describe the aftermath of the abuse though, saying: 'I struggled with anorexia, bulimia, and depression so severe that I was hospitalized for attempting suicide.'
Then, she let Nassar have it, saying: 'How f***ing dare you say "sorry" for all you've done. We all see through your bulls*** now. You're a pathetic monster who's only sorry he got caught.'
She was not the only Olympian to speak in court on Thursday, with McKayla Maroney's victim impact statement also being read out.
'It all started when I was 13 or 14 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport,' read the letter.
'It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and It happened before I won my Silver Medal.'
The letter continued: 'For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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.'
Maroney also made a point of calling pout those who let Nassar thrive for so long.
'How could have Larry Nassar been allowed to assault so many women and girls for more than two decades?' she asked.
'The answer to that question lies in the failure of not one, but three major institutions to stop him -- Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee.'
Misdirected missive: Nassar accused Judge Aquilina of using his sentencing for her own gain in a letter written earlier this week (above)
Remarkable: In one of the most emotional testimonies of the three-day hearing thus far, Nicole Reeb spoke about seeing Nassar weekly while she attended Michigan State University
Lindsey Lemke took the podium to address some of Nassar's enabler, delivering an impassioned indictment of the doctor's friends and employers.
The courtroom erupted in applause for the vert first time as Lemke said: 'Larry, I hope you, [MSU president] Lou Anna Simon, [MSU gymnastics coach] Kathie Klages, [Twistars owner] John Geddert and all of USAG are scared. Because you have pissed off the wrong army of women.'
In one of the most emotional testimonies of the three-day hearing thus far, Nicole Reeb spoke about seeing Nassar weekly while she attended Michigan State University.
She said that it was until 2016, after years filled with mental breakdowns, anxiety, depression and heavy drinking, that she realized she had been sexually abused.
Reeb revealed that Nassar at one point showed her a medical text which he claimed offered up proof that he could only reach the muscles in her back through her vagina.
'I was a dancer, an athlete and determined to get better,' she said of her injury, which was treated while she attended Michigan State University.
She said she now holds the school accountable for her suffering, and asked why nothing had been done despite multiple reports over the years.
'I thought his odd noises and grunting were because he was working so hard to get the knots out of my muscles,' said Reeb.
'Now I shake with disgust, because I realize those were the sounds of his own sexual enjoyment.'
She said that as a mother and grade school teacher, it is unfathomable to her how Nassar could do these things.
'I'm so depressed. There are days I cannot get off the couch. I have no trace of energy. I sleep a lot. And sometimes even though I'm tired, I have to take medication to fall asleep,' said Reeb.
'I've wondered if my family would have it easier if I just wasn't here. I haven't wanted to die, but occasionally, I don't want to exist, either. When I feel myself sliding in that direction, I think about my children & remind myself that I need to exist for them.'
She then closed out her statement by saying: 'I have spent my entire adult life clawing my way through the aftermath of being sexually abused. It seems just to me that Larry Nassar should spend the rest of his life locked away in a prison cell. Thank you, your honor.'
Judge Aquilina then told Reeb: 'You are not defined by this. You are defined as a strong mother.'
She went onto say: 'You will never be defined by what this predator has done. You need to release yourself of that. I'm hoping your words have done that for you. I think this was the best medicine.'
The courtroom then burst into applause for the second time.LARRY NASSAR SENTENCING: MCKAYLA MARONEY VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
Maroney being treated by Nassar at the 2012 London Olympics (above)
For as long as I can remember, gymnastics was my life. As a child, my mom said, “I need to put this child in gymnastics, to tire her out.” You could say I was in gymnastics since the age of 18 months. I’ve always felt comfortable in the gym, sort of my home away from home.
I was 7 years old for my first competition. I remember getting ready for the meet. I got my hair braided with a cool bow, and some sparkles. I got to wear this really awesome leo, and wore a matching warm-up. Life was good, I looked good… and I was pretty certain that one day I’d be heading off to the Olympics!
The Olympics is something that brings people hope and joy. It inspires people to fight for their dreams, because anything is possible with hard-work and dedication. I remember watching the 2004 Olympics. I was 8 years old, and I told myself that one day I would wear that red, white, and blue leotard, and compete for my country. Sure, from the outside looking in, it’s a remarkable and amazing story. I did it. I got there, but not without a price.
I made the US National Team at the age of 14, and began to compete throughout the world for my country. When I first met Larry Nassar, he was the doctor for our National Team and our Olympic team. I was told to trust him, that he would treat my injuries and make it possible for me to achieve my Olympic dreams. Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.” As it turns out, much to my demise, Dr Nassar was not a doctor, he in fact is, was, and forever shall be, a child molester, and a monster of a human being. End of story! He abused my trust, he abused my body and he left scars on my psyche that may never go away.
It all started when I was 13 or 14 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and It happened before I won my Silver Medal. For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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. Because the National Team training camps did not allow parents to be present, my mom and dad were unable to observe what Nassar was doing, and this has imposed a terrible and undeserved burden of guilt on my loving family.
Larry Nassar deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. Not only because of what he did to me, my teammates and so many other little girls – He needs to be behind bars so he will never prey upon another child. I urge you to impose the maximum sentence upon him.
Ever since I went public with my story, I have been inspired and uplifted by the love and support of my former teammates, fans and many other good people. People should know that sexual abuse of children is not just happening in Hollywood, in the media or in the halls of Congress. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse.
I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting. I was deeply saddened by the stories of my fellow Olympic teammates that suffered as I did at the hands of Larry Nassar. More than 140 women and girls had to say, “#MeToo” to Nassar’s sexual assaults and hundreds more were victimized to create the pornographic images that fueled his evil desires. A question that has been asked over and over is: How could have Larry Nassar been allowed to assault so many women and girls for more than two decades? The answer to that question lies in the failure of not one, but three major institutions to stop him -- Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee.
When my story became public the US Olympic Committee said, "Each doctor working with our athletes undergoes background checks including an evaluation of medical licensure actions. Unfortunately, this predator was not identified by any organization during the time in question.” Reports in the Nation’s leading newspapers and media outlets document credible claims that Michigan State University trainers and coaches received complaints about Nassar going back to the late 1990s. These complaints were ignored. Nassar was not even licensed to practice medicine in Texas, yet he “treated” and abused girls at the Karolyi Ranch Olympic Training Center in Huntsville, Texas for more than 15 years.
In 2014, Nassar was the subject of a Michigan State University investigation based on additional complaints of sexual misconduct. This botched investigation concluded that Nassar’s actions, which he has now admitted were sexual assaults, were legitimate medical treatments. He was allowed to go back to work at Michigan State University and continue molesting girls. USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee were never informed of this investigation. When other Olympic and National Team athletes complained to USA Gymnastics about Larry Nassar in 2015 he was allowed to retire as the Olympic Team doctor and Michigan State University was never informed of the complaints against him.
He returned to Michigan State University and allegedly continued to molest young girls until he was finally arrested nearly a year later. A simple fact is this. If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar’s behavior I never would have met him, I never would have been “treated” by him, and I never would have been abused by him.
It is my hope that federal and state law enforcement agencies will not close the book on the Larry Nassar scandal after he receives his just punishment. It is time to hold the leadership of Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee accountable for allowing, and in some cases enabling, his crimes. Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it’s time to take our power back