The mother of a young gymnast sexually abused while she sat unknowingly in the same room admitted she was blinded by the reputation and accolades of convicted serial sexual predator Larry Nassar.


“He was a kind, gentle man. He had a warm personality and showed genuine concern for my daughter.


“He was obviously highly regarded and demonstrated expertise with accurate precision every time we saw him. In our world, he was never wrong,” Kristen Chatman wrote in an emotional open letter published in the Indy Star.


It wasn’t until other women started coming forward with testimonies of abuse against Nassar that she and her daughter, Chloe, recognized the former U.S. Gymnastics doctor as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Congress to investigate USA Gymnastics over Larry Nassar’s abuse


Chatman in her missive recalled visiting Nassar on several occasions to seek out assistance for her daughter’s “extreme back pain.”


“Desperate for answers and relief, we called our favorite doc, Larry,” she said.

MANDATORY CREDIT

Tony Myers and Kristen Myers-Chatman react as their daughter, Chloe Myers, gives a video statement during Nassar’s sentencing at Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte on Jan. 31, 2018.

(Cory Morse/AP)


“Due to our mutually busy schedules, we met him off hours. ‘How nice of him!’ we thought.”


Chatman said Chloe remained fully clothed, “but since she was covered, I was unaware of what he was doing under the sheet.”

Olympic coach knew about Nassar’s abuse for years: Aly Raisman


She remembered wondering at the time why Nassar wasn’t wearing gloves while treating her daughter, but she brushed off that worry.


“This was Larry after all. No need to question him,” the mother said. “I trusted him. We all trusted him.”


Because his treatment worked, both Chatman and her daughter continued to live normally with “No questions. No concerns.” But then came the 2016 Indy Star report, which detailed a series of sexual abuse allegations against the ex-Michigan State University sports doctor.


“We couldn’t wrap our heads around it. I couldn’t fathom that this could possibly be true,” Chatman wrote.

Larry Nassar gets additional 40 to 125 years in prison


“Did I let someone assault my daughter right in front of me? Never would I ever allow that to happen! My children are my world and anyone who knows me, knows that about me.”


During Nassar’s sentencing hearings in Eaton County last month, both Chatman and her husband stood side by side while their daughter delivered her victim-impact statement via video stream.

MANDATORY CREDIT

Victims react to Larry Nassar’s 175-year sentence


More than 250 women and athletes have come forward with allegations against the ex-doctor, many of them detailing how he abused them under the guise of medical treatment.


Nassar in December was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges and was handed up to another 175 years on seven sexual assault charges in Ingham County. And earlier this month, the disgraced doctor was sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years in prison on three sexual assault charges in Eaton County.

Larry Nassar molested 27 victims after FBI launched probe: report


He was recently transferred to federal custody and was being housed at Milan Federal Correctional Institution Friday morning.


While Nassar will spend the rest of his life behind bars, Chatman said the guilt is something she will continue to live with and urged those criticizing the parents of survivors to reassess their perspectives.


“As one of the parents in the room, I beg you to reconsider sharing your blame and shame opinions. To consider for minute, ‘What if it was you?’” Chatman concluded.


“I can promise you. You would have done the same thing.”

Tags:
larry nassar
sex crimes
crimes against children

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet



Source link