A couple of weeks ago, we dedicated our blog to the story of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar who pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. We felt that it was important to revisit this story in this week’s blog because of the extreme importance of highlighting the current outcry against sexual abuse and harassment.
There’s no question that the recent bringing to light of the countless horrific incidents of sexual assault has taken far too long. These crimes are nothing new. However, they are often hidden from exposure due to the shame and humiliation suffered by the victims. The entire team, here at Allegiant Experts, would like to publicly applaud and show our support for all of those who have come out, in recent weeks, to expose their perpetrators.
Nassar, quite sadly, is just one of many who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past several weeks. A major movement was initiated with the outing of Hollywood film producer, Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo hastag was created to inspire women from all walks of life to acknowledge their being victimized by sexual abusers. The hope, of course, is to bring light to an epidemic that undoubtedly needs to stop.
No form of sexual assault is acceptable, simple and plain. However, in the case of Nassar, his crimes were especially disturbing given the fact that many of his victims were underage girls. As reported by CNN, Nassar used his position as a gymnastics team doctor to sexually abuse 125 young girls. Some were aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the assaults, while some others were under 13.
In court, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina spoke for so many of us when she reprimanded Nassar in an appropriately harsh way. “You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way to abuse children,” she is quoted as saying in the CNN report, “I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”
Nassar carried out his atrocious crimes while serving as the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams. He was also an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. However, he also abused members of the USA Olympic team when he served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.
Rachael Denhollander is one of those Olympians. A former gymnast with USA Gymnastics, she revealed in court in May that Nassar sexually abused her on five doctor’s visits in 2000. His inappropriate touching of her breasts and genitals triggered alarm bells for her. “I froze, because I knew that was sexual assault,” she is quoted as saying.
Denhollander, however, also points out that Nassar was protected by the institutions that hired him – something that compounds an already enormous injustice. “We were silenced, we were mocked, and our abuser was told time and time again, ‘I’m on your side,’” she said, “The culture that allowed this predator to keep abusing has yet to end.” Clearly, there is a great deal of work to be done to stop monsters like Nassar.
If you’re an attorney trying a medical misconduct case, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinical experts at Allegiant Experts to find out how we may be able to help. Call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.