MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – Two of the people who have accused Dr. Larry Nassar of sexual assault have taken the stand for day two of his preliminary hearing on 15 sexual assault charges.
Nassar was a well-known doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics. He also treated athletes at Twistars, a gymnastics club based in Lansing. He’s accused of using his hands inappropriately to sexually abuse young women and girls. He left USA Gymnastics in 2015 and fired by MSU in 2016.
One of three alleged victims who testified on May 12th briefly returned to court to finish her testimony. The 16-year-old is referred to as “Victim D.” She was followed by 16-year-old “Victim A.”
Testimony from Victim D
The 16-year-old gymnast said she was just 5 when she got into gymnastics. During cross-examination by the defense, she told the court that she trains at a very high level and feels a lot of pressure to perform and attend practice.
Victim D said she saw Nassar for treatment for the first time in July of 2014.
Her mother would always go with her to the appointments and accompany her in the room while Nassar treated her.
Victim D said her mother would sometimes film the treatments Nassar was performing, but whenever that would happen, he would never use his hands inappropriately to penetrate her vaginal area.
She said Nassar never asked for permission from her or her mother to use his hands internally to vaginally penetrate her. She also testified that he also didn’t wear gloves when he did so.
In 2016, Victim D said she saw Nassar for treatment for hip pain before a national competition and that pain started to go away.
However, during questioning by the Attorney General’s Office, she said during that time, Nassar did not perform the medical treatment in question.
Testimony from Victim A
“I thought what he was doing was right,” Victim A said when describing why she didn’t say anything to Nassar when he would use his hands inappropriately to penetrate her vaginal area. “I trusted him.”
The 16-year-old said she was around five or six-years-old when she started gymnastics. While she no longer trains to be a gymnast, she said her career started at Twistars.
During his time as a gymnast, she said she suffered from various injuries to her heel, back, and wrist.
Victim A said she first saw Nassar for treatment when she was around 9 or 10-years-old at Twistars.
When describing the appointments she would have with Nassar at both Twistars and MSU Sports Medicine Clinic, she said the doctor would use his hands internally to penetrate her vaginal area, never wear gloves, and never ask for her consent.
During one appointment, Victim A’s dad was in the room while Nassar described what he could do to treat her injured heel. She said Nassar explained he could do a “massage” but told the dad he could leave the room because it would take a while.
While Victim A said Nassar’s request to have her dad leave the room was optional, her dad indeed left. That’s when she said Nassar told her to put on baggy shorts and performed the medical treatment in question.
According to Victim A, the appointment lasted for roughly 30 to 45 minutes and when Nassar was finished with performing the treatment, she said Nassar only put on sanitizer.
“I felt embarrassed,” she said when describing how she felt after the alleged sexual touching, but said she didn’t say anything because Nassar was an authority figure and there was a level of trust.
It wasn’t until 2016, when the news broke about Nassar’s alleged sexual abuse that Victim A realized what had happened.
She said when reading the information former gymnast Rachael Denhollander told the press, it matched with what had happened to her during treatments.
It was the allegation that Nassar never wore gloves while vaginally penetrating Denhollander during appointments that Victim A said was similar to what happened to her.
She said told her parents about the alleged sexual abuse just before her 16th birthday.
“There’s been a lot of nights where I cry and cry,” Victim A said.
Nassar denies any wrongdoing and says the treatment he was performing on his patients were accepted medical techniques.
Two more alleged victims, Victim E and Victim B are expected to take the stand after this afternoon’s recess.
Ingham County District Court Judge Donald Allen must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send Nassar to trial on the sexual assault charges. The case involved seven women or girls, although dozens more are suing him.
6 News will be in the court room and have a full report tonight on 6 News at 5 and 6.