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Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:58:56 +0000
(NEW YORK) -- She was not present in the courtroom but Olympic gymnastics star McKayla Maroney's words rang powerful and clear to the former doctor she says molested her at the age of 13.
Maroney, a multiple Olympic gold medalist and member of the famed "Fierce Five" at the 2012 London Olympic games, allowed her victim impact statement to be read Thursday morning by a prosecutor in Ingram County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan, where former USA Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar is facing punishment for molesting multiple young girls and women.
"I was told to trust him, that he would treat my injuries and make it possible for me to achieve my Olympic dreams," she said of Nassar.
"Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment' that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years," Maroney said in her statement. "As it turned out, much to my demise, Dr. Nassar was not a doctor and, in fact, was and forever shall be a child molester, a monster human being. End of story."
She said Nassar began abusing her while she was attending her first National Team training camp in Texas.
"He abused my trust. He abused my body and he left scars on my psyche that may never go away," Maroney said.
She claimed Nassar sexually abused her repeatedly for years until she left the sport.
"It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated,'" she said. "It happened in London before my team won the gold medal and it happened before I won my silver medal."
She recalled being summoned to Nassar's hotel room one night for treatment.
"I thought I was going to die that night," she said. "Because the National Team training camp 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 whole family."
She asked Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give Nassar the maximum sentence, which could be up to 120 years in prison.
"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," Maroney said. "He needs to be behind bars so he will never prey upon another child."
Nassar pleaded guilty in November to sexually assaulting seven girls, but Aquilina is allowing many more victims to speak in court. At least 103 are expected to address the court before the four-day hearing is over on Friday.
The disgraced doctor has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 100 women and girls in civil lawsuits.
Olympic medalists Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Jamie Dantzscher and Simone Biles have all said they've been molested by Nassar.
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