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Faces of defiance: 140 women tearfully face down pedophile


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Larry Nassar listens to one of his 140 victims talk of the horror his depraved actions caused

More than 100 women who were abused for years as children and aspiring athletes by a USA gymnastics doctor have come forward to face their tormentor this week.

Larry Nassar, 54, sexually assaulting athletes under the guise of medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which as the sport’s national governing organization trains Olympians.

A total of 140 women have come forward to tell how they were molested by the pedophile former medic, and many of them confronted him directly in court as they read out victim statements, compiled by the Lansing State Journal. Only 63 have been identified. 

The disgraced doctor has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges, and under a plea bargain faces a minimum of 25 to 40 years for the molestation cases. 

It is likely the ultimate sentence Nassar is handed will be much higher, suggesting he could well face the rest of his life in prison. 

From Olympic gold medalists to high school students, the victims’ powerful testimonies united them in defiance against the monster who abused them. 

Clasina Syrovy 

Clasina Syrovy takes a moment to regain her composure Monday, January 22, 2018, during the fifth day of victim impact statements against Larry Nassar in Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan.

Clasina Syrovy takes a moment to regain her composure Monday, January 22, 2018, during the fifth day of victim impact statements against Larry Nassar in Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan.

Clasina Syrovy would change the subject whenever someone asked if she knew former sports doctor Larry Nassar or mentioned news coverage of the unfolding scandal over his sexual abuse of young gymnasts - including her. She said: 'After today, I will not cry anymore,' she told Nassar. 'I am done. ... You are a disaster'

Clasina Syrovy would change the subject whenever someone asked if she knew former sports doctor Larry Nassar or mentioned news coverage of the unfolding scandal over his sexual abuse of young gymnasts – including her. She said: ‘After today, I will not cry anymore,’ she told Nassar. ‘I am done. … You are a disaster’

Clasina Syrovy would change the subject whenever someone asked if she knew former sports doctor Larry Nassar or mentioned news coverage of the unfolding scandal over his sexual abuse of young gymnasts – including her. 

She said: ‘After today, I will not cry anymore,’ she told Nassar. ‘I am done. … You are a disaster.’ 

Jessica Smith 

Dancer Jessica Smith, left, next to her mother Kimberly, breaks down, as Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina speaks Thursday, January 18

Dancer Jessica Smith, left, next to her mother Kimberly, breaks down, as Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina speaks Thursday, January 18

Smith told the court: 'At the age of 17, I saw Nassar for a very severe ankle sprain. This baffles me, how he made his way to my private areas'

Smith told the court: ‘At the age of 17, I saw Nassar for a very severe ankle sprain. This baffles me, how he made his way to my private areas’

Dancer Jessica Smith was molested as a teenager. She told the court The Tab: ‘So many of my role models went to Nassar, other people in the ballet company that I looked up to. He was an Olympic gymnastic doctor at Michigan State University, you know? So many things that led me to trust him. 

‘At the age of 17, I saw Nassar for a very severe ankle sprain. This baffles me, how he made his way to my private areas.’ 

Victim Bayle Pickle speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges

Victim Bayle Pickle speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges

Victim Bayle Pickle was treated by Nassar and first saw him when she was 12 years old. 

She snapped at Nassar: ‘You better sit up straight, listen to what I have to say, and act like you’re somewhat (remorseful) for your actions. How could you do something so horrible to an innocent young girl?’

Victim Emma Ann Miller (centre) speaks along side her mother Leslie Miller (right) at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (left) a former team USA gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty

Victim Emma Ann Miller (centre) speaks along side her mother Leslie Miller (right) at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (left) a former team USA gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty

Fifteen-year-old Miller, Nassar's final victim, speaks from the stand and tells her abuser: 'I am not afraid of you'

Fifteen-year-old Miller, Nassar’s final victim, speaks from the stand and tells her abuser: ‘I am not afraid of you’

Emma Ann Miller, 15, speaks  Monday, January 22, 2018, during the fifth day of victim impact statements against Larry Nassar

Emma Ann Miller, 15, speaks Monday, January 22, 2018, during the fifth day of victim impact statements against Larry Nassar

Tennager Emma Ann Miller, told her tormentor: ‘The word Nassar will permanently be associated with child sexual abuse.

‘As Nassar’s story fades into a federal prison cell for the rest of his life, my story, our story, is going to be mine and your is going to be titled Miller vs. MSU. 

‘I know you write books, your honor. What do you think of Chapter 1? “Don’t P*** Off 150 Women That You’ve Sexually Assaulted For 20 Years”?,’ the 15-year-old said.

'I believe they are just as much a victim as myself,' victim Whitney Mergens says of her parents and boyfriend, who stand at her side

‘I believe they are just as much a victim as myself,’ victim Whitney Mergens says of her parents and boyfriend, who stand at her side

Victim and former gymnast Whitney Mergens speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, as a picture of her as a gymnast is shown to the court

Victim and former gymnast Whitney Mergens speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, as a picture of her as a gymnast is shown to the court

Whitney Mergens was abused twice at the age of 11, with Nassar winning her over when he presented her with a signed postcard from the female members of the 2008 Olympic team.   

‘Larry, how many of us are there?,’ she said, according to the Lansing State Journal. 

‘Do you even know? Did you keep track? Do you know the number keeps rising? And that’s only the girls that are actually coming forward. How is it Larry that your secret was kept for so long?’

Krista Wakeman, right, comforts her mother Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after Krista addressed Larry Nassar

Krista Wakeman, right, comforts her mother Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after Krista addressed Larry Nassar

Krista Wakeman, who was abused by Nassar, told the court she was brainwashed by the gymnastics pedophile doctor, who ‘manipulated our bodies and minds’. 

Addressing him directly, according to the New York Times, she said: ‘You are a sick man, Larry. I hope you rot in prison because that’s where you belong.’

Victim Nicole Reeb makes her victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan, during the fourth day of sentencing for former sports doctor Larry Nassar

Victim Nicole Reeb makes her victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan, during the fourth day of sentencing for former sports doctor Larry Nassar

Victim and former gymnast Nicole Reeb had appointments with the disgraced sports doctor. 

She said: ‘Self care is hard to manage when your soul has been scarred.’

MSU student and former gymnast Christine Harrison gives her victim impact statement, directly addressing Nassar

MSU student and former gymnast Christine Harrison gives her victim impact statement, directly addressing Nassar

Victim Christine Harrison slammed Michigan State University for their handling of the case, and turned to religion in her statement. 

She said, according to the Lansing State Journal: ‘My family always used the saying “the Lord helps those who help themselves”. But with you, you had the opportunity for years to seek help. You knew what you were doing was wrong, but it wasn’t until you got caught that you started to ask for forgiveness.’

Former family friend to the Nassar family, and babysitter to Nassar's children Kyle Stephens, right, addresses Larry Nassar. Behind Stephens is her mother, and Assistant Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis, center

Former family friend to the Nassar family, and babysitter to Nassar’s children Kyle Stephens, right, addresses Larry Nassar. Behind Stephens is her mother, and Assistant Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis, center

A former family friend to the Nassars Kyle Stephens, who was the first to testify against the pedophile, said her abuse started in kindergarten.  

‘Little girls don’t stay little forever,’ she said. They grow into strong women who return to destroy your world.’

Former Twistars gymnast Kamerin Moore addresses Larry Nassar, who can be seen sitting, right

Former Twistars gymnast Kamerin Moore addresses Larry Nassar, who can be seen sitting, right

Kamerin Moore, former Twistars gymnast, first started seeing Nassar at the age of ten when he would sneak her into his home through a back door late at night. 

Now pregnant, she said: ‘I didn’t want this child I’m carrying to be in the same room with a child molester. You called me your guinea pig because you would always try out your new techniques on me.’

Melody Posthuma-Vanderveen speaks about Larry Nassar, while her husband Luke stands at her side

Melody Posthuma-Vanderveen speaks about Larry Nassar, while her husband Luke stands at her side

She said, according to the Lansing State Journal: 'I’m still suffering every day and will continue to do so' 

She said, according to the Lansing State Journal: ‘I’m still suffering every day and will continue to do so’ 

The victim, embraced by supporters, said: 'I ask each one of you and everyone this reaches that you will help cultivate environments where women don’t have to live in fear. I wholeheartedly believe that this begins with giving you a life sentence today'

The victim, embraced by supporters, said: ‘I ask each one of you and everyone this reaches that you will help cultivate environments where women don’t have to live in fear. I wholeheartedly believe that this begins with giving you a life sentence today’

Victim Melody Posthuma-Venderveen was sexually abused by the twisted former doctor during medical examinations. 

She said, according to the Lansing State Journal: ‘I’m still suffering every day and will continue to do so.

‘And I ask each one of you and everyone this reaches that you will help cultivate environments where women don’t have to live in fear. I wholeheartedly believe that this begins with giving you a life sentence today.’

Former gymnast Bailey Lorencen confronts Larry Nassar during the fifth day of victim impact statements

Former gymnast Bailey Lorencen confronts Larry Nassar during the fifth day of victim impact statements

Bailey Lorencen, like a number of other young athletes, was made to wait after hours to be seen by the pedophile doctor. 

‘You used my child-like vulnerability as your access to gain my trust in you,’ she said, ‘And that is something I will never forget.’

‘Looking back now as a woman I am appalled what my child self went through.’ 

High school gymnast Arianna Guerrero shows a credential Larry Nassar gifted her during the third day of victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan

High school gymnast Arianna Guerrero shows a credential Larry Nassar gifted her during the third day of victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan

High school gymnast Arianna Guerrero addressed ‘I’m only 16. I should not event know what a victim-impact statement is, or what the inside of a courtroom looks like, let alone writing my own and reading it to you now. 

‘You seem to have a hard time looking at me now, but you didn’t when I was half naked on your table.’

Morgan McCaul confronts Larry Nassar during her victim impact statement in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom

Morgan McCaul confronts Larry Nassar during her victim impact statement in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s courtroom

Morgan McCaul, now 17, was molested by Nassar for five years, starting when she was 12. 

She said, according to The Tab: ‘Every time they deny they had any knowledge of this abuse, they contribute to this culture.

‘Every time they deny they had the responsibility to protect little girls on their campus, they contribute to this culture.’

Victims and former gymnasts Maddie (left) and Kara Johnson hold hands as they speak at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (right, foreground) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges

Victims and former gymnasts Maddie (left) and Kara Johnson hold hands as they speak at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (right, foreground) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges

The sisters stand defiantly in the stand as they recall their torment at the hands of the doctor

The sisters stand defiantly in the stand as they recall their torment at the hands of the doctor

Sisters Kara and Maddie Johnson appeared with their father in court to give evidence. 

Kara said:  ‘I will never be able to get back what you have so effortlessly taken,’ while sister Maddie said: ‘He was the doctor. I was the child. I had no idea what to think.’

Their father addressed Nassar, saying: ‘Your story is dark, sinister and pure evil. You preyed on the most vulnerable. You preyed on innocence and you preyed on trust. You preyed on little girls and young women. God’s children. And he weeps with us.’

Lindsey Lemke addresses Larry Nassar during the third day of victim impact statements regarding the former sports medicine doctor

Lindsey Lemke addresses Larry Nassar during the third day of victim impact statements regarding the former sports medicine doctor

Lindsey Lemke’s career as an athlete ended because of an injury she believes was made worse by her abuse at the hands of Nassar.

She told the Lansing State Journal: ‘To me, you are the worse type of person, someone who takes advantage, someone who belittles, someone who controls, someone who took away trust, childhoods, happiness, innocence, and someone who even took lives of others.’

‘You have p***ed off the wrong army of women.’ 

Olympic medalist Jamie Dantzscher makes her victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan, She remembers Nassar's 'obnoxious' laugh

Olympic medalist Jamie Dantzscher makes her victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan, She remembers Nassar’s ‘obnoxious’ laugh

Jamie Dantzcher, a member of the bronze-medal-winning American team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, was one of Nassar’s 140 victims.  

She said: ‘Who do they believe now, Larry? I remember your obnoxious laugh, and how loud it was and then you would slurp the drool off your lip. I don’t see you laughing now.’

Victim Taylor Livingston is comforted by her mother after speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Victim Taylor Livingston is comforted by her mother after speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Taylor Livingston was first assaulted when she was 13 with her terminally-ill dad in the room. 

Confused and unsure of what was happening to her, she didn’t tell her father, but addressing her tormentor directly, she said: ‘I find more peace that one day you are going to die. And when you do your pain will not subside. 

‘When you die, you’re going to hell. But there will be a pit stop on the way, where you will have to face my dad, who now knows exactly what you have done.’

Former gymnast and victim Amanda Smith speaks while accompanied by her husband at the hearing

Former gymnast and victim Amanda Smith speaks while accompanied by her husband at the hearing

Amanda Smith held back the tears as she addressed the pedophile who tormented her. 

She said: ‘I may not be an Olympian or a Big Ten athlete. But I have a voice. My voice will be the voice for the voiceless.’

Alexis Alvarado confronts Larry Nassar during the fourth day of victim impact statements
Ex-US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sentencing hearing, Lansing, USA - 19 Jan 2018

Alexis Alvarado confronts Larry Nassar during the fourth day of victim impact statementsEx-US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sentencing hearing, Lansing, USA – 19 Jan 2018

Former gymnast Alexis Alvardo confronts the man who abused her in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s courtroom.

She said: ‘This is not Judge Aquilina’s so-called “circus” that you called it. This is your hell. And I hope you burn in it.’

Victim Hannah Morrow speaks of her torment at the hands of the disgraced former US doctor 

Victim Hannah Morrow speaks of her torment at the hands of the disgraced former US doctor 

A valiant Hannah Morrow said she now cannot be touched without spiraling into a panic due to the abuse of Larry Nassar. 

But she said, according to the Lansing State Journal: ‘Life handed me lemons, and you best believe, I am well prepared to make some lemonade. You cannot break me, Larry. I am a survivor.’

Kaylee McDowell confronts Larry Nassar while giving her victim impact statement in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom

Kaylee McDowell

Kaylee McDowell confronts Larry Nassar while giving her victim impact statement in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s courtroom

Kaylee McDowell was one of Nassar’s victims and she made reference to the thousands of images of child pornography found at his home. 

‘I wanted to be like you,’ she said. ‘A man of honor and passion. Am I on your GoPro? Because I was one of your closest little friends.’

Anya Gillengarten is surrounded by her parents and boyfriend after giving her victim impact statement

Anya Gillengarten is surrounded by her parents and boyfriend after giving her victim impact statement

Anya Gillengarten was surrounded by her parents and boyfriend after giving her victim impact statement.

As one of 140 victims of Nassar’s reign of terror, she said: ‘I would like to tell you, my name is Anya. I am not a number.’

Victim and former Gymnast Lyndsy Carr (left) embraces her mother at a podium at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Victim and former Gymnast Lyndsy Carr (left) embraces her mother at a podium at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Lyndsy Carr was molested when she was as young as 11, and those in the gallery applauded when she gave her statement.  

She Nassar as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’.

Tiffany Thomas speaks during a news conference. Thomas is one of many former patients of Nassar who have accused him of molestation

Tiffany Thomas speaks during a news conference. Thomas is one of many former patients of Nassar who have accused him of molestation

Tiffany Thomas is one of many former patients of Larry Nassar who was molested by him.  

She said: ‘The army you choose in the late 90s to silence me to dismiss me and my attempt at speaking the truth will not prevail over the army you created when violating us. We seek justice, we deserve justice, and we will have it.’ 

From the left; Rachael Denhollander (left), Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin and Tiffany Thomas appear at a news conference

From the left; Rachael Denhollander (left), Sterling Riethman, Kaylee Lorincz, Jeanette Antolin and Tiffany Thomas appear at a news conference

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander alerted the newspapers to Nassar’s abuse.

‘I knew this was the time,’ Denhollander said. ‘One anonymous, quiet voice was not going to be enough. I was 100 percent confident there were other victims speaking up and being silenced.’

From there, the number of victims coming forward continued to grow.

Victim and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Victim and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Victim and former gymnast Jordyn Wieber walks to the podium to speak at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

Victim and former gymnast Jordyn Wieber walks to the podium to speak at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar

On Friday, Olympians Aly Raisman (left) and Jordyn Wieber (right) made a surprise appearance in court, allowing their names to be used

On Friday, Olympians Aly Raisman (left) and Jordyn Wieber (right) made a surprise appearance in court, allowing their names to be used

On Friday, Olympians Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber made a surprise appearance in court, allowing their names to be used.

‘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,’ Raisman, 23, said.

Former gymnast Marta Stern speaks at the court room in Lansing, Michigan, to say, 'My silence ends today'

Former gymnast Marta Stern speaks at the court room in Lansing, Michigan, to say, ‘My silence ends today’

On Monday, physical therapist and former gymnast Marta Stern said she originally wanted to remain anonymous ‘out of fear of how it would affect my life, my loved ones and my career.’

‘However, I will no longer let you have control over me. I will not let you win,’ she told Nassar.

The other 112 victims all gave evidence, standing in defiance against the monster who abused them. 

Over five days, most of them addressed Nassar directly, in a confrontational fashion.  

The names of the 140 victims who stood to testify against the monster who tormented them 

Bailey Lorencen : Valerie Webb : Whitney Mergens : Clasina Syrovy : Emma Ann Miller : Amanda Smith : Taylor Livingston : Jordyn Wieber : Kara Johnson : Maddie Johnson : Marie Anderson : Amy Labadie : Ashley Yost : Aly Raisman : Kassie Powell : Megan Ginter : Anya Gillengarten : Kaylee McDowell : Hannah Morrow : Bayle Pickel : Alexis Alvarado : Moran McCaul : Trinea Gonzcar : Larissa Boyce : Jamie Dantzscher : McKayla Maroney : Lindsey Lemke : Nicole Reeb : Taylor Cole : Jessica Smith : Arianna Guerrero : Melody Posthuma-Vanderveen : Christine Harrison : Katie Rasmussen : Maggie Nichols : Tiffany Thomas-Lopez : Jeanette Antolin : Amanda Thomashow : Gwen Anderson : Jaime Doski : Jenelle Moul : Madeleine Jones : Kayla Spicher : Jennifer Hayes : Nicole Walker : Chelsea Williams : Carrie Hogan : Helena Weick : Kyle Stephens : Jessica Thomashow : Nicole Soos : Amanda Cormier : Jennifer Rood-Bedford : Ashley Erickson : Melissa Imrie : Jade Capua : Olivia Cowan : Simone Biles : Gabby Douglas : Jessica Howard : Kaylee Lorincz : Kamerin Moore : Marta Stern



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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