Day 2 of Nassar sentencing continues, 21 more share their stories
Day two of ex-MSU Doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing continued a lot like the first, with a silent courtroom, except for the camera shutters, victim impact statements and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's comments.
Twenty-one women and girls shared how Nassar's abuse changed their lives, meaning a total of 50 people have given their statements with at least 51 scheduled to still speak.
President Lou Anna K. Simon attended the afternoon sentencing, and answered a few questions during a recess. MSU has remained mostly silent regarding Nassar.
"There'll be other times to talk about MSU's story but this is about hearing their story," Simon said. "As I said, I did that all day yesterday. I came in today and I didn't want to be a disruption but you guys are reinforcing my view that I am a disruption, for processes for the victims and the survivors, and not about us, Michigan State, today. There will be time for that to happen and that's not today."
However, Simon did not say when that time will be.
Multiple victims chose to become public after remaining anonymous for most the process.
Gwen Anderson said she chose to go public because, as a mother of two sons and middle school teacher, she wants to show her children and her students how to be strong and speak up for themselves.
"I want my two boys to see their mom stand up for what she knows is right," Anderson said. "I want my students to see that I'm doing what I encourage them to do every day, which is be the change you want to see in this world."
Another survivor, Madeleine Jones, addressed the court via video conference. Jones is a student at Boston College studying biology on a pre-med track.
"Because of me, I'm going to be a better doctor than you could of ever dreamed of being," Jones said. "Because of me, I'm fixing all of the damage you did to me. Because of me, I'm strong, I'm fierce and I'm resilient. Because of me, you're going to jail for the rest of your life."
At least nine victims decided to go public between the end of court Tuesday and their chances to speak Wednesday.
"As of yesterday, I was identified as Victim 118. But today, inspired by the courage of my fellow survivors, I'm not afraid to say that my name is Chelsea Williams," Williams said. "And I'm a survivor."
Another survivor, Nicole Walker, said her original plan was to have someone else read her statement in court.
However, after sitting in court Tuesday, she gained the courage to speak publicly.
Aquilina took the time to address each survivor after they gave their statements, as well as before she gives Nassar his sentence.
"He is not a hero, each survivor is a heroine, is superwoman for going through this, for looking past it, for joining together," Aquilina said.
Day three of the sentencing begins at 9 a.m. Thursday. The State News will run another live blog. Campus Editor Madison O'Connor will be covering it live.
For full coverage of Wednesday's sentencing, read the live blog here.