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The female victims of Dr. Larry Nassar, the sexual predator who face life imprisonment after pleading guilty on Wednesday, are not content with the axe falling on one man. They also want executives at US Gymnastics and the Michigan State University to be held accountable for the systemic assault.
In a report from ESPN, Rachael Denhollander, who first came out in September 2016 to sue Nassar, said the doctor couldn’t have thrived without the enabling environment and the culture of silence that pervades in US Gymnastics.
Denhollander and the other victims sought the help of the Attorney General to launch a probe on the school and the gymnastics association.
“You don’t get someone like Larry Nassar, you don’t get a pedophile who is able to abuse without there being a culture surrounding him putting him in that place,” she said.
Denhollander was just 15 when she sought the help of Nassar about 16 years ago for a lingering back pain. When she came out, she was traumatized by the fact that nobody believed her because Nassar was well respected in his field. In the end, however, the doctor abused more than 100 girls.
In a statement he read in court after pleading guilty, Nassar apologized to his victims as he likened the whole thing to a match “that turned into a forest fire out of control.” He also said that he has no animosity to those who sued him. “I just want healing. … We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that.”
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, however, is not buying Nassar’s apology. The judge admonished the doctor for using his position to abuse children “in the most vile way.”
The MSU released a statement claiming that Nassar’s guilty verdict is another step to provide justice to the victims. However, Denhollander and the other women said that the MSU should not preach healing now when the school officials have not done anything despite being told of the sexual assaults for a long time.