Sexual abuse victims’ father tries to attack Larry Nassar in courtroom

The incident occurred during the third and final sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former US Gymnastics doctor, on sexual abuse charges

other sports Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:04 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Chicago
Larry Nassar,Randall Margraves,US gymnastics
Randall Margraves (L) lunges at Larry Nassar(wearing orange) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges at the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan.(REUTERS)

A father of three victims of Larry Nassar rushed toward and tried to attack the disgraced former sports doctor during a sentencing hearing Friday, after the judge declined his request for “five minutes” alone with Nassar in a locked room. He was quickly tackled by bailiffs.

Two of the man’s daughters had just addressed the court, saying they and another sister had been sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. Their father, Randall Margraves, then told the judge he was a “distraught father.”

READ | USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar abused at least 265 women, court told

He looked at Nassar, shook his head and called him a profanity while speaking at the courtroom podium. The judge cautioned Margraves against using profanity. He then asked for “five minutes” alone with Nassar. When the judge said she couldn’t allow that, Margraves asked for one minute. The judge again declined.

The father then lunged at Nassar, who was sitting nearby.

Crying could be heard in the courtroom as Nassar was escorted out. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told families in the courtroom to “use your words,” not violence.

READ | USA Gymnastics board of directors to resign under pressure

“This is letting him have this power over us,” she said. “We cannot behave like this. I understand this is a remarkable situation. But you cannot do this. This is not helping your children. This is not helping your community. This is not helping us.”

The incident occurred during the third and final sentencing hearing for Nassar on sexual abuse charges. The charges in this case focus on his work with Twistars, an elite Michigan gymnastics club. The hearing resumed after about 25 minutes.

READ | Judge, victims receive support on social media following Larry Nassar sentencing

More than 30 victims have given statements so far. During a similar hearing that ended last week, more than 150 girls and women came forward to say Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

More victims are expected to speak. The proceedings are likely to extend into next week.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 21:22 IST