If there were Olympic medals for court testimony, Aly Raisman might have just won gold.
The Olympian gymnast testified in court today against Larry Nassar, the former U.S.A. gymnastics national team physician who’s been accused of sexual abuse by more than 140 women, including some of the star gymnasts from the past few Olympic Games. Nassar has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault, and Raisman was delivering a victim impact statement in court (she was one of several gymnasts to do so).
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 19, 2018
In the searing, 13-minute speech, Raisman did not hold back from eviscerating Nassar and the organizations that enabled him. At times, she looked directly at Nassar while she condemned him and praised her teammates for coming forward.
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing,” Raisman said. “Larry, the tables have turned. Larry, we are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere.”
Raisman also called out USA gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for turning a blind eye to the many allegations of abuse over the years. She said “talk is cheap” and called for an independent investigation of Nassar’s abuse and how it was allowed to continue for so long.
“If over these many years, just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided,” she said. “I and so many others would have never, ever met you, Larry. You should have been locked up a long, long time ago.”
Raisman said that she and her teammates would no longer be silent.
“All these brave women have power and we will use our voices to make sure you get what you deserve, a life of suffering spent replaying these words delivered by a powerful army of survivors,” she said. “I will not rest until every last trace of your influence on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer it is.”