Farmington Hills teenage abuse victim opens up about Dr. Larry Nassar case
Nassar pleads guilty to sexually abusing girls
LANSING, Mich. – After 14 months and more than 100 women and girls coming forward, Dr. Larry Nassar has finally admitted to sexual assault.
The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University gymnastics team doctor pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting young athletes, including some girls under the age of 13.
Nassar was originally charged with more than 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and was scheduled to go to trial Dec. 4. Instead, he agreed to a plea deal that could get him a minimum prison sentence of 25 years.
The maximum sentence he is facing is life in prison.
Now, hours after Nassar's guilty plea, a Metro Detroit woman who is among the victims is talking about the case.
"It's very empowering," she said. "I can say it doesn't define me."
While Nassar faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, that doesn't include his sentence for federal child pornography charges.
Until Wednesday, victims couldn't talk publicly because of a court order. Now that the court order has been lifted, several of them want to share their stories.
Local 4 spoke with Madeleine Jones, an 18-year-old woman from Farmington Hills, who said she was sexually abused by Nassar when she was just 11 years old. She's one of about 130 victims accusing Nassar of sexual abuse.
Jones is a victim that Nassar specifically admitted to abusing.
When victims of sexual abuse are involved in court cases, their identities are concealed for their privacy. In Wednesday's case, they were referred to as "Victim A," "Victim B" and so on.
Now, the victims -- including Jones -- want their stories to be told. Jones was called "Victim B" in the case.
"I would much rather him plead guilty than sit in a courtroom and tell everyone about my experience with him," Jones said.
Jones was a gymnast when she was young. She hurt her back, so she went to see Nassar. He sexually abused her as an 11-year-old girl, and until last year, nobody else knew about it.
Jones' mother, Jennifer, said she had no inclination that her daughter was being abused until the first accusations came to light.
"Once I read the articles about the other girls, I knew," she said. "(I remembered) how he positioned the chair so I couldn't see."
Jones said she wanted to come forward when Nassar was denying the abuse. She said she felt real strength in numbers, surrounded by other victims.
You can watch Nick Monacelli's full story in the video posted above.
Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.