A former USA Olympic gymnastics doctor named Larry Nassar, was sentenced 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday, January 24. More than 150 women and young girls stated in court that he had sexually abused them over the past two decades. Some assaults even date back to the 90’s. All of the victims described similar stories of how they went to Nassar to receive treatment for sports injuries only to be sexually assaulted and told that it was a form of treatment. He worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, where Olympians train. Some of the most well-known victims include Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, both Olympic gymnasts.
On Friday, February 2, the father of three daughters who were abused by Nassar, tried to attack the doctor in the courtroom before being tackled by security. Before lunging at Nassar, the father spoke to the judge and said “I would ask you, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.” The judge said no and stated, “That’s not how our legal system works.” Randall Margraves, the father, was brought back into the courtroom after lunch to apologize. He said that he acted out because he did not know beforehand what his daughters were going to say and because Nassar was shaking his head “like it didn’t happen.” The judge accepted Margraves’s apology and didn’t punish him for his actions “considering the circumstances.”
Many people view Margraves as a hero and some claim that they don’t blame him for doing what he did. Many believe that they would not have reacted any different than he did. How is a father supposed to react after hearing his daughters testify in court? A big question that came up throughout the trial is why did Nassar get away with the abuse for as long as he did? The abuse went on for 20 years and he never got caught. There are victims that said that they went to the board of the training centers and complained about Nassar, but clearly nothing was ever done about the issues.
At his sentence hearing in Michigan, Dr. Nassar apologized for his years of abuse and said that the victims speeches “had impacted me to my innermost core.” But the judge cited Nassar’s earlier claims of no wrongdoing and sentenced him to spending a long period in prison and said that he was “in denial.” She also said, “I am not convinced that you truly understand that what you did was wrong and the devastating impact you’ve had on the victims, family and friends.”