LANSING, Mich. (CBS) – Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman faced her abuser in a Michigan courtroom Friday, angrily addressing him directly about the abuse she suffered. The Needham native is one of more than 140 women who say former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment.
Earlier in the week Raisman, a member of both the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic teams, said she planned to submit a written victim impact statement, because testifying in person would be too difficult. After days of watching dozens of fellow victims address Nassar face to face, she instead chose to appear in person, delivering a powerful message.
“You are so sick,” Raisman told Nassar. “You took advantage of our passions and our dreams.”
“I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength, that I am no longer a victim, I’m a survivor,” she said. “You caused me a great deal of physical, mental, and emotional pain. You never healed me.”
“Imagine feeling like you have no power and no voice. Well you know what Larry? I have both power and voice, and I am only beginning to just use them,” Raisman declared. “I will not rest until every last trace of your influence on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer that it is.”
Raisman then turned her anger on USA Gymnastics, on behalf of the, “powerful army of survivors.”
“Neither USA Gymnastics nor the USOC have reached out to express sympathy or even offer support,” she said. “If over these many years just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided.”
At the end of Raisman’s testimony, the courtroom erupted in applause. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina praised the young woman’s strength, telling her, “You are part of an unstoppable growing force.”
Also testifying Friday was fellow member of the 2012 “Fierce Five” Olympic team, Jordyn Wieber, who received a hug of support from Raisman.
Wieber described talking to her teammates about Nassar’s treatments.
“I had no idea he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit,” she told the court. “I even talked to my teammates, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, about this treatment and how uncomfortable it made us feel. None of us really understood it.”
McKayla Maroney submitted a written statement about her abuse, which was read to the court on Thursday. Two-time Olympic team member Gabby Douglas has also claimed abuse by Nassar, as well as Raisman’s 2016 teammate Simone Biles.
Nassar is being sentenced for seven counts of sexual assault. Victim impact statements began on Tuesday, with about 100 victims expected to speak over the course of five days. Nassar is already serving a 60 year sentence for child pornography.