Victims of disgraced U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar faced him in court Tuesday as they detailed his abuse and the toll it took on them in emotional impact statements.
One-by-one, the women shared their stories inside a Michigan courtroom.
Kyle Stephens was the first of nearly 100 women to share her story. She wept as she told the former team doctor that “little girls don’t stay little forever.
“They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
As she spoke, Nassar put his head in his hands.
“Sexual abuse is so much more than a disturbing physical act,” Stephens added. “It changes the trajectory of a victim’s life, and that is something that nobody has the right to do.”
Stephens described how Nassar began abusing her when she was just 6 years old in his basement. Her parents were friends with the doctor and his wife.
When she was 12, she said she told her parents of the abuse and they did not believe her.
“You convinced my parents I was a liar,” she told Nassar in court.
She said the situation split her family and her father’s deferred recognition of the truth drove him to suicide.
Other women came forward with their shocking stories.
“I often think of suicide,” Annette Hill said in court. She saw Nassar for treatment of a knee injury 20 years ago when she was abused by him.
The victims each described how the 54-year-old violated them, sometimes while their parents were nearby.
“He molested me, Rebecca Mark said of a 1999 incident. “He molested me while my mom was in the room.”
Donna Markham, the mother of one victim, spoke on behalf of her daughter, Chelsea, who committed suicide in 2009 at age 23.
Markham said her daughter first saw Nassar when she was 10 and soon had a downward spiral, which she blames on the doctor.
“Every day I miss her and it all started with him,” she said. “It all started with him and it just became worse as the years went by until she just couldn’t deal with it anymore.”
Nassar pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of criminal misconduct in Ingham County, Mich., and three other criminal counts in Eaton County. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison in a child pornography case.