Maroney in London in 2012.
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In a powerful statement read in court on Thursday, Olympic gold-medalist McKayla Maroney described former USA Gymnastics coach Larry Nassar as “a monster of a human being.”
“I had a dream to go to the Olympics and the things I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting,” Maroney said in her statement, read by the Assistant Attorney General Thursday.
More than 140 women, including Maroney and her Olympic teammates, have accused Nassar of abuse. Almost 100 were scheduled to speak during his four-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan. Thursday was day three.
It was reported Tuesday that if Maroney spoke in court, she could potentially face a $100,000 fine from USA Gymnastics for breaking a nondisclosure agreement as part of her settlement with the organization. USA Gymnastics later released a statement saying the organization “has not sought and will not seek any money” from Maroney for speaking out against Nassar.
News of the potential fine got the attention of some celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen and Kristen Bell, who offered to pay the $100,000.
Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual abuse for molesting young athletes under the guise of medical treatment. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.
Maroney's statement detailed how, growing up, the gym was her “home away from home.” She recalled being eight years old and watching the 2004 summer Olympics, thinking that she will one day wear the red, white, and blue leotard.
“I did it. I got there; but not without a price,” Maroney said in her statement.
As a gymnast she was told to trust Nassar, that he would help make it possible for her to achieve her dreams.
“He abused my trust. He abused my body and he left scars on my psyche that will never go away,” she said. “It all started when I was 13 or 14 years old. It didn't end until I left the sport.”
Her statement detailed how she was assaulted during the 2008 Olympics in London before she and her teammates won a gold medal. She said she was also abused before she won the silver medal.
She blamed Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic Committee for allowing Nassar's behavior to continue.
“A simple fact is this: if MSU, USA Gymnastics and the US olympic committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar’s behavior, I would have never met him. I wouldn’t have been abused by him,” she said.
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Before the victim impact statements continued Thursday, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar submitted a six-page letter to the court saying he was concerned about his mental ability to the statements for four days.
He also complained that the hearing was turning into a “media circus.”
“I didn't orchestrate this, you did by your actions and your guilty plea,” Aquilina told Nassar.
Nassar's letter also accused the judge of making him sit in the witness box next to her so the media cameras will be on her.
“This isn’t worth the paper its written on,” judge says. “There’s no truth in here. It’s delusional. You need to talk to these issues with a therapist, and that is not me.”