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Abuse victims say they were required to see disgraced doctor

PTI
NEWS
50   //    01 Feb 2018, 13:06 IST

Charlotte, Feb 1 (AP) Another wave of victims have confronted Larry Nassar, this time about sexual abuse at an elite Michigan gymnastics club where young athletes felt they had to use the disgraced doctor's services and could not question the adults who ran the facility.

The judge presiding over the case said the number of people who allege they were abused by Nassar has topped 265.

That total includes 150-plus victims who offered statements at a different hearing last week, as well as scores of new ones expected to speak over the next few days.

Nassar faces another long prison sentence on top of the two he has already received.

He was sentenced to 60 years on federal child-pornography charges and another 40 to 175 years on state charges that he abused women and girls while working for Michigan State University. Either one of those sentences effectively mean life in prison for the 54-year-old.

"You are the most vile, disgusting creature I have ever met," said Katherine Ebert, who was a gymnast from 5 to 18 and started seeing Nassar at 15.

"There are black holes in my memory that come back as nightmares or flashbacks, not wanting to believe they're true."

Nassar, once the doctor for the national gymnastics team, sat at a table with his lawyers as nearly 30 accusers rebuked him. They discussed the psychological scars from his abuse -- depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, trouble being around male teachers and other men and fractured relationships with family.

"You took advantage of my innocence and trust," 17-year- old Jessica Thomashow said. "You were my doctor. Why? I ask myself that question all the time. What you did to me was twisted. You manipulated me and my entire family. How dare you."

Judge Janice Cunningham has set aside several days for more than 60 victims who want to confront Nassar or have their statement read in the courtroom in Charlotte, a city outside Lansing.

The case on Cunningham's docket in Eaton County centers on Nassar's assaults at Twistars, a Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. Nassar admits penetrating three girls with his hands when he was supposed to be treating them for injuries.

Victims said they were instructed to see Nassar instead of their family doctors. Many of them concluded that it was mandatory.

Bailey Lorencen recalled that Nassar came to Twistars on Monday nights to provide free treatment. After an especially bad fall from a high bar, she broke her neck in four places and narrowly escaped being paralyzed

PTI
NEWS
Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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