Distraught Father Lunges At Disgraced Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar
CHARLOTTE, Michigan - A distraught father attacked former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during the third and final sentencing hearing Thursday. The father asked the court if he could speak at the hearing.
When the judge answered that she was not allowed to permit this, he lunged for the disgraced physician and was restrained by law enforcement. After speaking to the man quietly, authorities led him from the room.
Two of his daughters had just given their victim impact statements, and his third daughter is also said to be a victim of Nassar's abuse.
The incident took place as the latest wave of victims are speaking about sexual abuse at an elite Michigan club run by an Olympic coach. The judge presiding over the case said the number of people who allege they were abused by Nassar has climbed to 265.
That total includes 150-plus victims who offered statements at a different hearing last week, as well as scores of new ones who are expected to speak over the next few days.
Nassar, who has already been sentenced on federal child-pornography charges and charges that he abused young women and girls while working at Michigan State University, faces another long prison sentence on top of the two he has already received.
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.
News On 6 was live streaming on Facebook when the father lunged at Nassar. It is at the end of the Facebook live video below:
Last week's hearing in another county ended with Nassar getting to 40 to 175 years in prison, a sentence that judge described as Nassar's "death warrant."
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.
Annie Labrie said what Nassar did to her made her "skin crawl," but every adult around her assured her he was the only option, and she hid the abuse from her parents. She said Nassar's pedophilia was not an isolated incident, and gymnastics and gyms like Twistars have a "specific culture" that allows people like him to flourish.
Attorney Mick Grewal said 11 of his clients have signed up, including some who were inspired by the 150-plus young women and girls who appeared in court last week. He called it a "cathartic experience."
"Now they're at a point in their healing process where they want to confront Larry, and they want to show the world that they are survivors and they are strong and they are part of this movement," Grewal said. "It helps them through the healing process."