The last victim to give a statement Tuesday was from Lindsey Schuett, she was abused by Larry Nassar at the age of 16 in 1999. Lindsey said, "I knew immediately that it was abuse." She said that she had seen the movie "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and knew what he did was wrong. She said she cried at night and finally decided to tell her school counselor and her mother. They didn't report the abuse and Lindsey was taken to see Nassar again. But this time, she screamed when he tried to abuse her again. She screamed and he chastised her, she said, he was stern with her and told her that she wasn't allowed to refuse treatment." When he started again, she screamed more and cried out until she could leave. Lindsey ended her statement by saying, "If anyone deserves to never see the light of day again, it is this man."
Anna Ludes prepared her statement on a disc that was played in the courtroom. Ludes said she was part of the MSU Rowing Team from 2010-2014 when she saw Nassar for treatment of back pain. Anna was between 18 and 22 years old when she saw Nassar and was assaulted during all four years. When she hurt her back she was devastated and wanted to see the best doctor for her pain so she could continue to row. Anna said that Nassar called the procedure "trigger point treatment," and she says "I didn't even know it was abuse at the time." She said she thought the treatment was weird and added that now she knows his treatment was sexual assault. She said she was so "brainwashed by him that I didn't know it." Anna ended her statement by saying, "because of Nassar I have to spend the rest of my life trying to heal and I want nothing more for him then to spend the rest of his life behind bars." The judge assured her that he would.
The next few statements were read by the court. Brianne Randall was one of those statements. Randall saw Nassar for back pain. After a procedure, she knew it wasn't right and filed a report with the Meridian Township police, which led to a hospital visit and a sexual assault kit. At the police station, Nassar and Randall's parents met up and Nassar said it was a "misunderstanding" and no investigation was done. At the end of her statement the judge said, "the defendant became a good liar."
The 23rd victim to speak on Tuesday was Megan Halicek. She was a former athlete and gymnast that sought treatment from Larry Nassar for back pain when she was 15 years-old. She said, "I trusted him and he turned out to be a monster." She said the abuse happened with her mother in the room which gave her a disoriented sense of safety. She said that Nassar would be abusing her while talking about his Olympic journey. "Treatment after treatment," she said, "I closed my eyes and wanted to puke."
The mother of Lindsey Lemke read a statement for her daughter. She said that Nassar had told Lindsey and other children not to tell parents about the procedures he was performing on them. Her mother said, "betrayal is hard to grasp." She said her daughter is scarred forever as is the rest of her family. And that she feels guilt for "missing this" and that will never go away, she says, "it's gut-wrenching."
Victim Ashley Erickson stood in the courtroom flanked by her two brothers. She was a gymnast and a college cheerleader when she saw Nassar for an injury. She said to Nassar, "I have a question for you...Why?" The judge addressed her after she was done speaking and told her that Nassar is "ill" and she called him a "monster that took advantage of you and is going to wither" like the witch in the Wizard of Oz.
As Nicole Soos stepped up to speak in the courtroom, all could see a picture of an adorable girl figure skating behind her. That was her, at the age she was assaulted by Larry Nassar. She said, "today I am here for me." Soos talked about vivid flashbacks and physical pain since the assaults. She also said that MSU must take accountability. She said that MSU's lack of action shows they stand behind Nassar.
When Jennifer Bedford told her story, she said she was naive when she started school at Michigan State. She had only kissed two boys, she said. She played volleyball at MSU from 2000-03. That's when she went to Dr. Nassar for treatment. Other players on the squad joked about Nassar, and shared that they called him the "crotch doc." She talked about her appointment with him and how he continued to talk about random things to make her feel comfortable and at ease, all the while he was assaulting her. She said she convinced herself it was "a normal part of the procedure." She recalled that she was frozen on the table and when she hurried out of the room, her first reaction was to question herself and blame herself.
When court resumed, two victims told their stories. The first wanted to remain anonymous. Watching Nassar, whatever she said made him cry and shake his head.
Following her was Amanda Cormier who was assaulted by Nassar after her 15 birthday. She was told by Nassar that she had a stress fracture in her lower back from playing soccer and he told her to give up the sport she loved and continue to see him for treatment. She said she gave it up because she trusted him. She recently found out that "no fracture ever existed," and said that he kept her as a patient for "his personal gain."
The last victim to talk before lunch was Taylor Stevens. Her statement was actually read by the court. She wrote that she was manipulated by Nassar, stripped of her youth, dignity and trust. She wrote that she is forever scarred and that Nassar had "darkened my greatest passion in life -- gymnastics."
A victim who saw Nassar for back pain, Daniel Moore, and was abused by him, she says, for a number of her teenage years, says that she has had suicidal thoughts and feels worthless. Moore has a doctorate yet says she still doesn't feel worthy of her accomplishments. She said her physical damage has been "monstrous." She ended by saying that "I was a thing to you," and now that he will be in prison wearing a number she added, "I hope a number defines you as it defined me."
Rebecca Mark talked in front of Larry Nassar in court about the abuse she suffered at his hand in 1999 when she saw him for lower back pain that she experienced while playing high school soccer. She says she feels disgusted and weak and that Nassar stole her adolescence and care free existence as a child.
Victim Olivia Cowan says she has suffered for years from Nassar's abuse. She also said she is horrified that MSU and USA Gymnastics is not taking some responsibility. "Shame on you for looking the other way," she said of USA Gymnastics, and "You are a coward," she said to President Simon of MSU.
Alexis Moore faced Nassar and told him that he was a "knight in shining armor to her," as he helped her heal from a broken pelvis at 9 years old. She added, "he abused me 100's of times for ten years." She brought Nassar to tears.
Former gymnast Chelsea Markham's mother brought the courtroom to tears telling her daughter's story after Chelsea was abused at the hands of Larry Nassar. The assault changed Chelsea, her mother told the court that her grades failed, she had to see a psychiatrist, and quit gymnastics. She never recovered and took her own life in 2009.
Victim ZA took the stand first, she is known as a "family friend." She told the court that Nassar first assaulted her when she was 6 years-old while playing hide and seek. Many years later when she realized what had happened, she told her parents who didn't believe her. His abuse damaged not only her childhood, but her relationship with her family. During her informative years, her parents sat her down in front of Larry Nassar to apologize to him for accusing him of assaulting her. He told her that if that ever happened to her that it is wrong and she should "tell someone." Victim ZA responded in the courtroom by saying, "Larry, I'm here, telling everyone."
The second victim to speak was 17 year-old Jessica Thomashow. Thomashow spoke out about her abuse at Nassar's hands when she was 9 and 12 years old. It has affected her relationship with her male teachers, her trust, and her friendship with boys. She said she has paralyzing flashbacks and says it's like PTSD. She told Nassar, "you took complete advantage of my trust."
Tuesday is the first day in what is expected to be a four-day sentencing hearing on the sexual assault charges against Nassar.
FOX 47 will continue coverage from inside the courtroom all week long for the sentencing of Larry Nassar.
Clayton Cummins will be live-tweeting from inside the hearing as it unfolds. (See his tweets here or at twitter.com/ClaytonCummins)