Throughout the entirety of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, including even now, there have been people criticizing the 54-year-old former doctor's victims, and they have made claims such as "they should have spoken up earlier" and asked questions such as "why are they only speaking up now?"
As we now know thanks to former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, these claims and questions are based on nothing more than falsehoods.
Maroney, who is now 22 years old, spoke out about the sexual assault that she was forced to endure at the hands of Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting over 260 people, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for roughly two decades before he was finally arrested in December of 2016 and given three length prison sentences over the last few months.
Nassar's first prison sentence is a 60-year federal prison sentence that he was given this past December on three child pornography charges. He is currently serving that sentence at United States Penitentiary Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, which is a maximum-security federal prison that offers a sex offender program for sexual predators such as Nassar.
Nassar's second and third prison sentences were both state prison sentences, with the first of those two sentences being for between 40 and 175 years on seven sexual assault charges and the second of those two sentences being for between an additional 40 and 125 years on an additional three sexual assault charges.
The two state prison sentences that Nassar was given were given to him earlier this year in January and February, respectively.
Maroney revealed publicly that she had been sexually assaulted by Nassar on Twitter in October, but she had not spoken publicly about the sexual assault that she was forced to endure at his hands since then until she spoke last week.
The two-time Olympic medalist spoke last Tuesday, April 17 during a luncheon for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children at The Pierre hotel in New York, New York, and she also did an interview with Savannah Guthrie, which was aired as a part of Dateline NBC's hourlong special "Silent No More", which pertained solely to the Nassar scandal.
Maroney revealed many things in this interview, but one thing seemed to stand out as a result of the fact that it totally debunks the theories that these victim shamers have which accuse her and many of Nassar's other victims of "just speaking out now", whether that be for the spotlight, to stay relevant, or for money.
When Maroney and her teammates were driving to their hotel in Tokyo, Japan following a training session in 2011, she spoke out about Nassar sexually assaulting her the night before.
Here is how Maroney described the sexual assault that she had endured at the hands of Nassar the night before, according to NBC.
"That was the scariest night. He went, like, overboard that night. And then I got worked on. [It] was very, very hard for me not to acknowledge the fact that...this was not treatment. I was being abused."
"I was bawling, naked on a bed, him on top of me, like fingering me. I thought I was going to die. It was escalating. I didn't feel like it was him anymore. It was this other thing that took over. The dark part of him."
"When he was done, I was so happy that I could walk away from that. I felt like I just escaped something. I remember waking up the next day and wanting to tell someone — and hoping that someone would see it in my eyes that something really bad just happened to me, that they would ask me."
Here is what Maroney had to say about what went down in the car the next night, according to NBC.
"I was in the car driving back to the hotel and I even said out loud that last night, Larry was fingering me."
John Geddert, a former Olympic gymnastics coach who is currently under criminal investigation for alleged physical assault of gymnasts, was in the car when Maroney made these claims.
However, Geddert, who was a friend of Nassar, said nothing about Maroney's remarks and did nothing about them, either. As we know now, Nassar was not arrested until five years after Maroney spoke up about him.
In regard to whether or not she said it loudly enough, here is what she had to say.
"Yea. Yea...because people gasped."
Two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman is among three other people who say they remember this conversation. Here is what the 23-year-old had to say about the matter, according to NBC.
"I remember what McKayla said. She basically described, in graphic detail, what Nassar had done to her the night before."
Maroney also stated that this was not the only time that she told someone about Nassar sexually assaulting her with nothing happening to the 54-year-old as a result of it.
"There were moments, and lots of moments, where I would make little signs and say things like that, but that was the biggest one that I can't even believe that I said that out loud in the car like that but I must have been so desperate at the time."
All things considered, one thing is overwhelmingly clear: Maroney did not just speak up now, and the same can be said for many more of Nassar's victims.