Aly Raisman’s Statement About Larry Nassar’s Sentencing Is So Moving
On Jan. 24, 2018, the trial of Larry Nassar came to a definitive close when the disgraced doctor was sentenced to decades in prison. And a few hours later, Olympic gymnast and Team USA captain Aly Raisman released a statement on Larry Nassar's sentencing that says everything that needed to be said. Raisman's statement was both a heartfelt thank you to those who had worked to bring Nassar to justice, and a moving assertion that despite Nassar's actions, Raisman and the other young women he affected remain strong. And perhaps most importantly of all — it was a no-holds barred call to accountability for the organization that had allowed Nassar to prey on young women for so long.
On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison on 10 charges of criminal sexual conduct relating to his abuse of young girls while he worked with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. The 54-year-old former athletics doctor had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. "I just signed your death warrant," Aquilina said as she handed down the sentence.
In the statement Raisman released on Jan. 24, she thanked Aquilina for giving her the chance to be heard. She wrote,
In sentencing, the judge had taken into account the more than 150 victim impact statements that survivors of Nassar's abuse read aloud in court over the course of seven days, after Aquilina had declared that every person Nassar abused would have the opportunity face him.
One of those who did was Raisman.
In the statement, Raisman also thanked everyone who had helped make sure that Nassar was punished for his crimes, including the prosecutors and law enforcement officials who had worked on the case and trial. "If not for your efforts and dedication, I honestly do not know if he would have ever been held accountable for his disgusting abuse," she wrote.
And most movingly of all, Raisman acknowledged the courage and strength of those who had come forward against Nassar. She wrote,
Shortly after, Raisman tweeted out another message to her fellow survivors — this one an image of a list of names, some clear pseudonyms, with the words "THANK YOU" emblazoned in all caps along the bottom. She captioned it, "Army of survivors who are NOT going anywhere."
But most importantly of all, Raisman finished her statement by pointing out the work yet to be done and calling on the gymnastics community to take action. She wrote,
Perhaps the best tribute to the power and fortitude of those who spoke out about their abuse is to make sure no one else has to go through what they did. From her statement, it's clear that Raisman thinks so.