The final sentencing hearing is underway in an Eaton County courtroom for disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused by scores of girls and women of sexual abuse.
The hearing that started Wednesday centers on his assaults at Twistars, a Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. In this case, Nassar has admitted to sexually abusing three girls under the guise of treatment.
Roughly 60 women and girls plan to confront him or have their statement read in the courtroom in Charlotte.
Judge Janice Cunningham says more than 265 people have come forward to say they were sexual assault victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar. The Attorney General’s office confirmed that number.
Previously, the total number of sexual assault victims was estimated below 200. More women and girls have been coming forward in the wake of Nassar’s highly publicized sentencing hearing last week in Lansing.
More than 150 women confronted Nassar during a similar hearing that ended last week with him being sentenced to as much as 175 years in prison. He’d already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography.
Nassar is accused of abusing young athletes while working for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.
A 17-year-old former gymnast says former sports doctor Larry Nassar took advantage of her “innocence and trust” and molested her when she was 9 and 12 years old.
Jessica Thomashow is the first to speak. She’s “victim A” in both the Ingham and Eaton County cases. She’s a charged victim.. also spoke in Ingham Co. pic.twitter.com/2pXtUxZaGR
— Alexandra Ilitch (@WLNSAlexandra) January 31, 2018
Jessica Thomashow was the first to confront Nassar on Wednesday during his final sentencing hearing on sexual abuse charges. About 60 girls and women are expected to testify during the hearing, similar to a hearing in nearby Lansing that ended last week after more than 150 victims came forward.
Thomashow told Nassar what he did to her was “twisted.” She says she asks herself all of the time, “Why?”
Another woman, Annie Labrie, testified that Nassar did things to her that “made my skin crawl” but says adults assured her he was the only option as a doctor.
She says gymnastics, dance and other activities have a “specific culture” that allows such abuse to thrive, and that girls learn at a young age not to question authority.
Wednesday’s hearing centers on Nassar assaults at a gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert.
6 News is livestreaming the victims making their statements in court: 6 NEWS LIVESTREAM
6 News reporter Alexandra Ilitch is in the courtroom and is live tweeting here