Elizabeth Smart investigates: Survivors of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar speak out
02/14/2018 2:30 pm PST
An all-new Elizabeth Smart investigation
For months you've heard the horrible things Dr. Larry Nassar did to young women -- some of them Olympic gold medalists. We won't be focusing on Nassar himself. His time is up. Instead, Elizabeth Smart is shining the spotlight on the incredible survivors who helped put the predator where he most certainly belongs.
Brave isn't a good enough word to describe the more than 150 women who faced the monster who sexually abused them, all united with a single purpose: To make sure that Larry Nassar never sees the outside of prison again.
One by one they faced off with the monster, bravely speaking about the unspeakable. No young athlete was safe from his abuse. More than 150 in court and at least a hundred more, all sharing the cry, "Me Too."
They're talking about Larry Nassar. You've heard about Nassar's despicable deeds. Now you're about to hear firsthand from some of the brave women who refuse to be victims, and instead are survivors. Today six of Nassar's accusers are entrusting me to tell their stories, sharing new details you have never heard until now.
Gymnast Larissa Boyce may very well be Larry Nassar's first victim. She claims the abuse started in 1997, long before many he preyed on were even born.
"I was 16. He was an Olympic doctor and so I thought the world of him, I thought I was the luckiest person to be able to be seen by this man," Larissa Boyce tells Crime Watch Daily. "I had an injury to my lower back when I was practicing, and I slipped off the vault. So then Kathie Klages, my head coach, had recommended I go see him at his office.
"I have a couple of different memories that really stand out, and the worst one that I can remember was he turned the lights off, took his belt off, and like had me undress from the waist down, and he started performing his supposed medical treatment on me, and then he was making grunting sounds," said Boyce.
And he did this to hundreds of young athletes, molesting them under the guise of a medical procedure.
Boyce says when she complained to her coach, Kathie Klages, Klages told her that Boyce was the problem, not Larry Nassar.
"And I was told that I was wrong, so I really, honestly, I was brainwashed into believing that I was the problem and that I must have a dirty mind," said Boyce. "I didn't realize that she was such good friends with him. I think had I known that back then, I would have never said anything to her. She was like 'No, you must be misunderstanding. I've known Larry for years and years, there's no way he would ever do anything that was inappropriate."
Larissa Boyce says she hoped the coach would have her back, but she says Klages ended up stabbing her in the back.
"She did not tell my parents. Instead she called Larry Nassar and told him that I told her about it," said Boyce.
She says at her next treatment, Nassar was primed for a fight.
"I was really scared at that next appointment, what he was going to say, but he came in, closed the door, sat on his little chair and rolled up to me and he said 'So I talked to Kathie, and she told me about your conversation," said Boyce. "And he tried to reassure me that it was a medical treatment and it was to help me get better, and I said 'Well, I don't want to get anybody in trouble,' I said, 'I'm so sorry it's all a big misunderstanding, it's all my fault.'
"And then I hopped back up on the table and he continued to abuse me. And I could tell he was angry with me. That time it was much more harsh and like rough, and I just felt like he was mad at me," said Boyce. "I had to convince myself that I had a dirty mind. And you know, I wasn't the only girl that came forward that night to Kathie; there was two of us that said that he was doing this."
Boyce says Coach Klages called a team meeting -- and actually shamed her.
"She even brought in some of my teammates and asked them in front of me if they had ever felt uncomfortable with how Nassar treated them, and they like, a couple at a time, right in front of me, and it was the most humiliating, embarrassing situation, and I think that that contributed to the fact that I never wanted to speak of it again," said Boyce.
And as we now know, Larissa Boyce isn't the only one.
"I remember the first time that he gave me the quote 'treatment,'" said Morgan McCaul.
Morgan McCaul was then a 12-year-old aspiring ballerina with a serious injury.
"I had torn both my hip flexors," McCaul tells Crime Watch Daily. "He was friendly, he was really warm, inviting -- looking back, overly friendly -- but I felt like I was in good hands upon meeting him.
"I was very uncomfortable and I was kind of confused as to what was even happening, but I kept my mouth shut because I just figured it was what I had to do," said McCaul.
What was the treatment?
"Digital penetration and inappropriate touching in the vaginal region," said McCaul. "He explained to me that a lot of muscles connect and tendons connect to something called your pubic symphysis. He used a lot of like medical mumbo-jumbo to kind of, looking back, confuse me and make me think it was OK."
And what she says shocked her the most was that Larissa Boyce and others called him out long before she was born. And Michigan State University officials didn't do anything about it.
"They could have stopped it, and they didn't," said Morgan McCaul. "They sponsored my assault."
The question everyone is asking: How in the nearly two decades Larry Nassar was abusing these young women, did Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics not know something terrible was going on?
Olympians Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman share Olympic gold medals. But they also share a dark secret: their doctor, Larry Nassar, sexually molested them. Maroney says it even happened right before a competition seen by millions around the world.
But did officials seemingly look the other way at a pattern of abuse?
"At the 2016 Olympic Games, the president of the USOC said that the USOC would not conduct an investigation, and even defended USA Gymnastics as one of the leaders in developing policies to protect athletes," Raisman said in court.
Eventually the entire board of USA Gymnastics resigned in the wake of the worst sex scandal in sports history.
Nassar abused more than 250 young women.
"In that time I didn't think that anything was wrong, I just knew I didn't like how it felt," said Emma Ann Miller.
Miller and her mother Leslie are speaking exclusively to Crime Watch Daily in their first-ever television interview.
Miller's last encounter with the creepy doctor was when she was only 13, just hours before Michigan State University suspended him.
"I think I was very possibly the last child that he ever assaulted," said Emma Ann Miller.
"In the office, at least," said mother Leslie Miller.
Miller was born long after his presumed first victim Larissa Boyce, who had reported Nassar's sexual abuse more than 20 years earlier.
"It just angers me just to know that people knew back in '97 and nobody did anything," said Leslie.
Leslie says because Nassar was her doctor too, she felt comfortable taking Emma Ann to see him for a back problem.
"When I was pregnant, he was my doctor for quite a few years. Emma Ann grew up knowing him," Leslie Miller tells Crime Watch Daily. "I really trusted him."
"He was known as the 'Gymnastics God,' the gymnastics doctor who like everyone would have given up anything to see. He was the guy who when Kerri Strug got injured in '96, he was waiting right there," said Hopkins.
After that injury Strug went on to win Olympic gold, inspiring many young women like Christine Harrison. But Harrison's career as a gymnast and soccer player came crashing down after she fractured her spine.
"He seemed very nice. He acted like he knew exactly what he was doing. There was a line to see him. I was like 'I can't believe like I'm in line to see the Olympic doctor.' I was bragging about it after I left," said Harrison.
In this exclusive interview, Christine Harrison tells Crime Watch Daily the abuse began later when she broke her pelvis.
"At first I had questioned, like, you know, 'Why isn't he wearing gloves?' And then when he started to do the digital penetration, I just remember thinking 'Oh my goodness, like, what is happening?' And I just remember looking off to the ceiling and being too scared to turn around to see even if he was aroused," said Harrison.
And what's even worse, Christine Harrison says it happened with her mother in the exam room.
"When he was doing the inappropriate touching, he was talking to my mom, so I was like 'Oh, if he's talking to my mom, he must not be doing something bad,'" said Harrison. "I'm just very upset. You can probably tell I'm still angry."
But what will make you angry is when you hear what Emma Ann Miller says Michigan State University did to her. Even after his arrest on multiple sexual conduct charges, the school continued billing her for Nassar's so-called treatments.
Emma Ann Miller bravely revealed the billing fiasco when she testified against Nassar.
"My mom is still getting billed for appointments where I was sexually assaulted," said Miller.
Hours after her testimony, Michigan State officials announced they would no longer bill Nassar survivors.
The university emphatically denies any cover-up.
They didn't just want their voices to be heard -- they needed their voices to be heard. More than 150 women and young girls relived their pain in a courtroom, making sure the world knew just how big a creep Larry Nassar really is.
The chorus of women who say doctor Larry Nassar molested them has reached a crescendo.
"If anyone deserves to never see the light of day again, it is this man," said gymnast Lindsey Schuett, speaking via video link during Nassar's sentencing.
Now Schuett speaks to Crime Watch Daily via Skype from South Korea, where she teaches school.
"I just want to scream it from the mountaintops now, just to say 'This is what I've been saying for 18 years,'" said Schuett. "I mean, he deserves thousands of years in prison, let's be honest. If anybody deserves not to see the light of day again, it's the guy. He's the worst of the worst."
Schuett went to Nassar when she was a 16-year-old with hip pain. On her first visit, she says, Nassar delivered what she now believes was a rehearsed speech.
"'You might hear some things from other parents, some parents think that I'm too hands-on, or that I touch my patients too much, but that's only because I really care about my patients' health,'" said Schuett. "He told us not to worry and that he was the best doctor out there, and then he reached back and slapped me on my butt a couple of times."
Lindsey Schuett tells us that slap was only the beginning of Nassar's sick abuse.
"His hands just kept moving further and further, his hands were up under my shorts where my mother couldn't see, and I remember him starting to touch like my panty line, the edge of my underwear, and thinking 'OK, this is starting to get really uncomfortable,'" said Schuett. "He ended up penetrating me fully, and at that point I sort of just went limp."
Schuett says she was terrified -- but she had a plan to stop him.
"When he started to penetrate me I screamed out really loudly in the office, and he stopped touching me, and you know, said 'Are you OK?' And I told him no, and he said 'We're just going to try it again, we're going to try to make you feel better,' and so he went back to doing what he was doing. He went back to penetrating me and I knew that I was just going to have to make a huge scene.
"And I remember being in the hallway screaming and crying and them not allowing me to go into the waiting room because I was so loud."
Lindsey Schuett says she later discovered her pain wasn't from an injury, but from something else.
"It clearly said in my medical record: 'She has this positive blood test, she needs to see a rheumatologist, we don't think that this problem is of an osteopathic nature,'" said Schuett.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was very moved by Schuett's compelling testimony.
"Lindsey, I've heard your scream. I will make a tough decision. I hope you will like it," said Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.
Another one of Nassar's victims, gymnast Ashley Yost, was also there to support her sister survivors.
"I needed to be there in order to like make things more of a reality, but I also needed to let the media see it so that he couldn't have some type of power over me," said Yost via Skype. "I shouldn't feel ashamed of wanting to hide my face or needing to hide my face.
"I honestly don't remember the first time it happened. It could have been anywhere from 14 to 16," said Yost.
The young gymnast tells Crime Watch Daily she had an injured foot and saw the world-renowned doctor.
"Hearing stories of like how he could heal gymnasts and stuff like that, we thought we would give him a try, and turns out he fixed my heel injury," said Yost. "He just came off as this really funny doctor who knew what he was doing. He made it seem as if he knew his stuff."
But as Yost progressed in her career, she was plagued by more injuries.
"My injuries kind of got a little worse and worse, and so I did end up seeing him for my back," said Yost.
Yost says Nassar started by working on other muscles.
"He said I would feel some pressure around my butt," Yost tells Crime Watch Daily. "He had angled himself away or he had put towels over me so that nothing could be seen. It never clicked within my mind that he didn't need to use penetration at all in order for me to feel the same result that I would without it."
Her story is disturbingly similar to the accusations of the other 250-plus young women.
In November 2016, after two decades of abuse, authorities finally moved in. And the evidence against Nassar was overwhelming. One year later, instead of going to trial, Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault.
It was time for Larry Nassar to face the judge with the nickname "Barracuda."
Inside a Michigan courtroom, we saw a historic showing of strength in the face of what could be the most widespread case of sexual abuse the country has ever seen.
The doctor who calls himself "The Body Whisperer" sat in stunned silence as the young women he abused spoke out against him.
The more than 250 survivors of the predator have been waiting for this moment: Larry Nassar's sentencing. And Nassar is forced to sit through and listen to the words of every survivor who speaks. Nassar seems to be hiding his face from his accusers.
Not because he's moved, but because he says he's uncomfortable. Incredibly, the predator writes a bizarre six-page letter in which he complains about having to listen to the stories of his victims.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina reads it to the courtroom:
"'I'm very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses these next four days mentally,'" Aquilina says, quoting the letter.
And her look of disgust says it all.
Aquilina: "Would you like to withdraw your plea?"
Nassar: "No, your honor."
Aquilina: "Because you are guilty, aren't you? Are you guilty sir?"
Nassar: "I have said my plea, exactly."
He later tries to apologize.
"I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control, and I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness for their -- I want them to heal. I want this community to heal," Nassar said.
But his "woe is me" apology seems to fall on deaf ears. And now it's time for the moment every one of his victims wants to hear.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina shows why her nickname is "Barracuda."
"As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you," said Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. "Because sir you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges, and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur."
Aquilina sentences him to the maximum.
"Sir, I'm giving you 175 years, which is 2,100 months," said Judge Aquilina. "I've just signed your death warrant."
Up to 175 years in a cold damp cell. But it's not over yet -- far from it. Nassar faces sentencing in another court in another county.
And a father of three daughters Nassar molested was waiting for him.
Randy Margraves: "I want to ask you as part of this sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon."
Margraves: "Would you do that?"
Judge: "That is not our -- "
Margraves: "Yes or no?"
Judge: "No sir, I can't."
Margraves: "Would you give me one minute?"
Judge: "You know that I can't do that, that's not how our legal system -- "
Margraves: "Well then, I'm going to have to -- "
Randy Margraves lunges at Larry Nassar. Bailiffs tackle him before he can reach Nassar.
The judge refuses to fine or jail Margraves because she says she understands his anguish.
In the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon resigned, issuing this statement:
"To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment."
Simon says she will cooperate with the investigation by Michigan's attorney general, who vows to find out who knew what, and when.
"This guy is a monster, and what he did under this guise, this hoax of providing medical treatment to young women, shocks the conscience," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Coach Kathie Klages was suspended and later retired from MSU, saying the allegations against Nassar "deeply disturbed" her, and says she's "extremely distressed" by the claims she tried to stonewall those reports of sexual misconduct. Crime Watch Daily made repeated calls to Klages for a comment, but never heard back.
Larry Nassar's total sentence adds up to centuries:
60 years in federal penitentiary for possession of child pornography
40 to 175 years for seven counts of sexual assault in Ingham County, Mich.
40 to 125 years for three counts of sexual assault in Eaton County, Mich.
Nassar is 54 years old. When he leaves prison, it will be in a pine box.
In the hours after video of Randall Margraves trying to attack Nassar in court went viral, strangers set up a GoFundMe page set up for his legal defense, raising $31,000 almost immediately. Margraves plans to donate the money to charities that help survivors of sexual abuse, his attorney said.
And in a strange coincidence, the Federal Bureau of Prisons lists Larry Nassar as an inmate in the same high-security prison in Arizona where the man who kidnapped our Elizabeth Smart is spending his life behind bars.
The legal fallout is far from over. Nassar is now facing civil lawsuits from his victims, and the organizations and institutions he was associated with are as well.