© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gymnast Says Nassar Caused Pain While Molesting Her

Nassar in courtroom
Scott Pohl
Dr. Larry Nassar (sitting center in orange, second from left) during preliminary hearing on May 26, 2017.

Michigan sports doctor back in court on assault allegations. The preliminary hearing continues June 23.

A gymnast testified Friday that a Michigan sports doctor accused of sexual assaulting dozens of women and girls asked her father to leave the room before he molested her during a 2012 appointment for a heel injury.

The girl, who was 11 at the time, said she didn't object when Dr. Larry Nassar penetrated her with his fingers because she was embarrassed and thought it might be a legitimate procedure.

"I remember lots of pain," the 16-year-old, identified as victim A, told a judge.

Judge Donald Allen Jr. must decide whether there's enough evidence to send Nassar to trial on sexual assault charges. The case involves seven women or girls, although dozens of others have also accused him of sexually assaulting them and are suing him in federal court. It was the second day of a hearing that likely will stretch to a third day in June.

Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians and other elite athletes. He's accused of molesting the women and girls with his hands but denies wrongdoing.

Victim A said her father accompanied her to Nassar's campus office for treatment of a sore heel. She said the doctor told her father that he could leave the room while he massaged her foot. He agreed.

She said she came forward after reading other gymnasts' accounts last year in an Indianapolis Star story about Nassar. The subsequent months have been tough.

"There have been lots of nights where I just cried and cried," she said.

Earlier Friday, another 16-year-old girl who testified on May 12 was cross-examined by Nassar's lawyers. She acknowledged that some of Nassar's treatments helped her back, but she said he never indicated that he would be touching her private areas with ungloved hands.

Nassar is facing four separate criminal cases, including one alleging he had child pornography.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!