The Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's mother says that the sexual abuse of the gold medalist in the hands of a team doctor plunged her into an "emotional abyss" so deep that the family feared that she would commit suicide.
Erin Maroney and her daughter stripped their anguish in letters to the federal judge who will sentence Larry Nassar on Thursday for possession of child pornography. The Maroneys are asking the court to give him the maximum punishment.
"This experience has been destroying McKayla," Erin Maroney wrote to the judge. "He has been transformed from an athlete world class bubbly, positive and loving in a young adult deeply depressed, sometimes suicidal and essentially descended into an emotional abyss.
"Sometimes I was not sure if he was going to open his room door and find her dead … His father and I have been living this nightmare for years and until recently we felt hopeless."
"The revelation of abuse McKayla has devastated our family, it has devastated McKayla's brothers, and worst of all, it has destroyed her emotionally and has almost extinguished the inner light of this beautiful and loving human being. "
McKayla said in his letter that he could never fully recover from the trauma.
"Dr. Nassar was not a doctor," he wrote. "In fact, he is, was and always will be a child molester and a monster of a human being." End of story! He abused my confidence, abused my body and left scars on my psyche that will never go away. "
McKayla, a member of the 2012 Olympic Fierce Five squad that competed in London, said on Twitter in October that Nassar abused her repeatedly. when she was 13. She is one of the three members of that team and about 140 women in total to file accusations that Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatments.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to accusations of sexual assault in relation to 10 former patients, none of them Olympians, in a state court in Michigan and agreed to a sentence of 20 to 40 years.
Under his plea agreement with the feds, Nassar said he would accept a sentence of between 22 and 27 years in the case of child pornography, but the prosecutors urge the judge to consider a sentence of up to 60 years, which is the maximum.
Erin Maroney said to ask nta if Nassar had pornographic images of McKayla that he managed to erase befo the investigators seized his computer equipment.
"These are questions that keep my husband and me awake at night, I know this also torments my daughter, will she wake up one day to find an image of her 13-year-old self assaulted on the internet?" she wrote. "This is what our family should live with and it will never go away."
She said that two years after McKayla told her story to a USA Gymnastics researcher, she is still learning harrowing details of the Nassar encounters.
"I also learned a few weeks ago from my daughter that at the Tokyo World Championship, the defendant drugged her, made her naked on a treatment table, sat astride her and entered her digitally while rubbing her erect penis against she". she wrote. "He was only 15.
" He said, "Mom, I thought I was going to die." "I can not tell you the anguish dad and I feel about this, and the responsibility we feel for not being aware of this, or being able to stop it."
Worse yet, the Maroneys said, it's their feeling that the US Olympic Committee USA, USA Gymnastics, which appointed Nassar as a team doctor, and Michigan State University, where he had his practice in sports medicine, could have stopped the abuse years earlier.
"One question that has been asked time and time again is: how was Larry Nassar allowed to attack so many women and girls for more than two decades?" McKayla wrote. "The answer to that question lies in the failure of not one, but of three important institutions to stop it."
The three institutions say they have strengthened their efforts to protect young athletes.
Nassar, who for a long time claimed that his "treatments" were medically healthy and not sexually motivated, said last month that he pleaded guilty because he believed it was time for the community to "heal."
"While Mr. Nassar wishes to be able to rewind the hands of time and make different decisions, he realizes that this is not possible," his lawyers wrote in a memorandum of presentation. "However, Mr. Nassar has already researched a lot about his life, and is using this time to participate in continued growth."