In case you missed it, allow me to be the first to tell you that Larry Nassar is officially The World’s Biggest Scumbag. In one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in sports history, Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting over 265 women since 1992.
According to CNN, he’ll now be serving three separate charges, including 40 to 175 years for seven counts of sexual assault on minors and an additional 40 to 125 years for three more counts.
Larry Nassar will spend the rest of his pathetic life behind bars, and I can’t even begin to describe how happy that makes me.
This is obviously long-overdue, but USA Gymnastics (USAG) has sadly been accused of dismissing victims’ complaints. The USAG’s official website states that “the duty to report lies with those who have first-hand knowledge.”
Essentially, unless a statement comes directly from a victim or a victim’s parent, an allegation of sexual misconduct is dismissed.
Even when they receive complaints, USAG seems to have a tendency to brush them off for far too long – it took Marvin Sharp four years to be reported to police for molesting and sexually assaulting minors.
Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse, said a culture was created which allowed predators like Nassar to commit sexual assault without fear of being caught.
“I did not know that at the same time Larry was penetrating me, USAG was systematically burying reports of sexual assault against member coaches in a file cabinet instead of reporting them…” she said in court. “I did not know that… USAG, rather than supervising Larry, was allowing him to treat these girls in their own beds without even having a medical license in Texas.”
It’s incredibly frustrating to hear all of this, and this is coming from someone who can’t even comprehend the idea of someone you trust violating you like that.
This man is so deplorable and offensive that, when he had the opportunity to write to the court, he took it as a chance to whine about how much this took a toll on him.
Mind you, he sexually abused over 250 women. I can’t even comprehend it; it’s insane to think that someone can be so rotten that he would sexually harass 250 women.
And now, after getting caught and sentenced to prison for the rest of his pathetic life, he complains, “I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over.”
Thankfully, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina had no time for his sheer nonsense. “Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor,” she said, “considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll always stand by the fact that victims should never have to be silenced or scared of telling their story.
Keene State College encourages reporting any act of sexual misconduct to someone such as Campus Safety or the police so it can be adequately handled, and the offender could ultimately face expulsion.
Everyone should be entitled to a safe space where they feel comfortable enough to tell their story, and no one should have to feel the pain of their allegations being systematically ignored and thrown under the rug for the sake of someone’s reputation.
While Nassar is finally going to serve the prison sentence he rightfully deserves for being an awful human being, the fact it took so many years for these women’s voices to be heard is disgraceful.
I’ve heard so many people ask, “Well if this person sexually assaulted someone, why didn’t they say anything sooner? Why did they wait so many years before speaking up?”
This is a prime example of why USAG and Michigan State let 250 women down by enabling Nassar’s abuse and allowing it to happen for the sake of his own image.
It’s totally unacceptable that this went on for as long as it did (or at all, for that matter) and even though he’s being held accountable for it now, testimonies from sexual assault survivors need to be taken more seriously. It’s something that can no longer be ignored and brushed aside like it has been in this case.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org