Thursday, November 26, 2020

Day 4 of Nassar's sentencing has 21 more speak, spills into next week

January 19, 2018
<p>Ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar tears up during Trenea Gonzcar's statement on the fourth day of his sentencing on Jan. 19, 2018 at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing. Gonzcar said she has known him 31 of 37 years and that she defended Nassar until recently. "It's time for me to stand up for these little girls and not stand behind you anymore Larry," Gonzcar said. "Good-bye Larry. May god bless your dark, broken soul." (Nic Antaya | The State News)</p>

Ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar tears up during Trenea Gonzcar's statement on the fourth day of his sentencing on Jan. 19, 2018 at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing. Gonzcar said she has known him 31 of 37 years and that she defended Nassar until recently. "It's time for me to stand up for these little girls and not stand behind you anymore Larry," Gonzcar said. "Good-bye Larry. May god bless your dark, broken soul." (Nic Antaya | The State News)

Day four of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing was filled with applause.

Instead of a mostly silent courtroom similar to the first three days of Nassar's sentencin, each survivor's statement was followed by a rousing round of applause.

Twenty-one women and girls described how Nassar's abuse derailed their lives, either when it occurred or after September 2016, when IndyStar published the first report.

One woman, Trenea Gonzcar, addressed the fact she knew Nassar her entire life and defended him for a long time.

"I've known you 31 of 37 years, and this last year has traumatized me in ways you cannot even begin to imagine, as I had to realize that I was abused for many years of my life," Gonzcar said. "Initially, and only until recently, I had defended you."

She added that she fought for him and believed in Nassar, and assumed that the women and girls misunderstood the treatments.

"This isn't something I'm proud of, but as more and more is coming out, I defended you with my whole heart," Gonzcar said.

She said she knew Nassar before he was a doctor, and he was widely regarded as a "God-like" doctor.

Because of the number of years she knew Nassar and number of injuries Gonzcar sustained, it is estimated that Nassar assaulted her at least 800 times.

But, Gonzcar said she stopped believing in Nassar a few weeks ago.

"It's time for me to stand up for these little girls and not stand behind you anymore, Larry," Gonzcar said. "Goodbye, Larry.  May god bless your dark, broken soul."

Olympians Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman gave their impact statements on Friday as well.

This was the first time Wieber publicly acknowledged her abuse.

Sentencing continues on Monday, and there are still at least 31 survivors scheduled to speak before it ends, but that number could grow.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said she has cleared her schedule for Monday and Tuesday and is willing to make the sentencing last as long as it needs, to give every survivor a chance to speak.

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