Aly Raisman discusses 'traumatizing' public scrutiny around Larry Nassar scandal
Two-time Olympic gymnast and six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, 24, is one of the 332 people who has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar.
Nassar sexually assaulted many of his patients under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades before he was finally arrested in December of 2016. This past December, he was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three child pornography charges. He is currently serving this sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
In January, Nassar was also sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges following a seven-day sentencing hearing during which 169 people, including 156 people who accused him of sexual assault, delivered victim impact statements in front of him in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom.
Among those 156 people was Raisman, whose scathing victim impact statement received national attention almost immediately. Since then, she has been arguably the most outspoken critic of Nassar's protectors, defenders and enablers, including USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee and Michigan State.
In February, Nassar was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges following a three-day sentencing hearing during which 65 more of the people who accused him of sexual assault delivered victim impact statements in front of him in an Eaton County, Michigan courtroom.
Raisman was recently interview by Jonathan Soroff of The Improper Bostonian. In this interview, she touched on several things related to the Nassar scandal, including the traumatizing aspect of what she has gone through over the last few months, especially with so much media attention having been on her and on the scandal itself.
"It is exhausting and traumatizing. I'm constantly reliving my abuse, and the last couple of months were extra-draining...I was so sick and so nervous. I don't know if people understand how hard it is to do that. I could hold it together in court or whatever, but then I could barely hold my head up afterward.
"In the past few months, I've barely worked out, which for someone who loves working out, that's saying a lot. But the exhaustion is incredible, especially because you're dealing with a serious issue and you always have to be on.
"I understand that when I speak, I'm not just speaking for myself. I'm speaking for anyone who suffered this and doesn't have a voice, and I take that very seriously...I want people to know that I have the best intentions, and with the media, you can't really control what they're going to print or how it will come across. You can be misquoted.
"'The most important thing for these organizations is to take accountability and listen to the survivors, hear them out. And not one organization has done that. But when you file a lawsuit, you're able to get information and data that you otherwise wouldn't.
"The reason I personally decided to file a lawsuit is because there hasn't been a full, independent investigation. I want the answers. And in certain respects, lawsuits are useful in doing that.
"The fact that there are still people working in these organizations when problems were reported so long ago is really frustrating, and it's what keeps me up at night. I would love to be a part of USA Gymnastics and helping them create change, but I can't do that if they're not willing to sit down and talk with me."
Here is a link to this full interview on The Improper Bostonian.