Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nassar sentencing hearing halted as father lunges at disgraced doctor

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CHICAGO: The father of three sexual abuse victims lunged at Larry Nassar in court Friday, bringing the former USA Gymnastics doctor’s final sentencing hearing to an abrupt halt while order was restored.

Randall Margraves suddenly hurled himself towards Nassar after two of his three daughters had testified in a court in Charlotte, Michigan to their abuse at Nassar’s hands.

Three sheriff’s deputies tackled Margraves, and Nassar was taken out of the courtroom.

“I want that son of a bitch!” Margraves yelled as he was being handcuffed.

“What if this happened to you guys?” he said while being escorted out of the courtroom.

The hearing later resumed with an appeal for calm by Judge Janice Cunningham.

The disruption came on the second day of Nassar’s final sentencing hearing as dozens of women waited for their turn to confront Nassar and tell the court of the abuse they suffered in the guise of medical treatment.

Read More: Entire USA Gymnastics board to resign in wake of sex abuse scandal

At least 265 young female athletes — including several Olympic medalists — have identified themselves as having been abused by Nassar.

He was sentenced on January 24 to between 40 and 175 years in prison, and was back in court this week for sentencing on yet more sexual abuse charges.

Madison and Lauren Margraves had just spoken Friday, when their father asked the judge to “grant me five minutes in a locker room with that demon.”

The comment at first elicited chuckles from the courtroom, and the judge replied, “I can’t do that.”

At that point Margraves lunged toward Nassar, bringing the proceedings to a halt.

“You cannot behave like this,” lead prosecutor Angela Povilaitis admonished Margraves.

“You have not lived through it, lady!,” he yelled back.

The hearing resumed approximately 20 minutes later. In appealing for calm, the judge acknowledged the intense emotions the case has aroused.

“I recognize that Mr Margraves had three daughters that he has had to watch go through the pain and the hurt,” Cunningham said. “I can’t imagine what it is like for a parent.”

Approximately 30 women were heard from in written and in-person accounts Wednesday, during the first day of Nassar’s final sentencing. Another 35 were expected to speak Friday.

Under a plea agreement, Nassar could get a minimum 25 to 40 years in prison. He also has been sentenced to 60 years for child pornography possession.

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