Last week, ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct (on top of a 60-year sentence for child pornography received in December). Those who read victim statements in Ingham County over a brutal seven days, totalled at 156. Now, he’s being tried for three more charges of the same kind in Eaton County.
The hearing started Wednesday, and at least 57 victims (read: survivors) are expected to give statements, many of whom were members of the elite gymnastics club Twistars, reported Chicago Tribune.
These hearings have displayed how speaking out through emotional and physical pain can turn that pain into power. But Friday morning revealed that words, sometimes, aren’t enough.
Day 2 commenced on Friday, and Randall Margraves, father to three girls who alleged abuse by Nassar, asked Judge Janice Cunningham if she could give him “five minutes with this demon.”
When she refused, he asked for a single minute. And when she refused still, he sprinted across the room and lunged for Nassar.
Margraves was detained by security and taken to a holding cell, according to MLive.com.
Watch the scene unfold:
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 2, 2018
Afterwards, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis turned toward the victims and their families behind her and said, “No one can behave like this. This is letting [Nassar] have power over us.”
Margraves ultimately wasn’t charged with contempt of court. Cunningham said that, “given the circumstances of the case,” she would release him without penalty even though he could have been fined up to $7,500 or sentenced to jail.
The father apologized to Cunningham and explained that he “lost control” because of the fact that some of what his daughters said on the record was news to him. He also told the judge he was enraged that Nassar shook his head during his daughters’ statements “like it didn’t happen.”
Lauren and Madison Margraves read their victim statements Friday before their father sprung for Nassar. Margraves’ third daughter, Morgan, gave hers at the Ingham County sentencing last week, CNN reported.
Lauren, who said Nassar molested her during an appointment when she was just 13 years old, told Cunningham that her parents were “filled with regret” for taking her and her sisters to Nassar. “I see the look on their faces and I know they want to do something and they can’t.”
“What Mr. Nassar did was horrible,” the judge stated once Margraves was brought back into the courtroom. “It’s unthinkable. But please let the criminal justice system do what it’s supposed to do.”
Lindsey Lemke, one of the women who gave her victim statement in Ingham County, tweeted Friday afternoon, “In all honesty, Mr. Margraves did exactly what every other dad sitting in that courtroom has wanted to do. It only goes to show how much this affects not only the victim, but their entire family as well. Nassar assaulted all 3 of his daughters, he deserves to be enraged.”
In all honesty, Mr. Margraves did exactly what every other dad sitting in that courtroom has wanted to do. It only goes to show how much this affects not only the victim, but their entire family as well. Nassar assaulted all 3 of his daughters, he deserves to be enraged.
— Lindsey Lemke (@lindseylemke) February 2, 2018
Cunningham told Margraves (and everyone else in the room) that “it is not acceptable that we combat assault with assault. … We cannot and I cannot tolerate or condone vigilantism or any other type of action that basically comes down to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That’s not what’s best in this situation. What’s best here is that we take this horrible tragedy and we learn to educate people.”
When the judge asked for assurance from Margraves that he would not put anyone else in danger, he agreed and said he wouldn’t be coming to any further proceedings.
“They may never trust a man again,” he said of his daughters. “I apologize a hundred times … I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”