Aly Raisman Shares the Letter She Wasn't Allowed to Read at Larry Nassar's Trial
The former USA Gymnastics doctor was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is one of more than 125 women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison for the possession of child pornography, to which he pleaded guilty. (Related: How the #MeToo Movement Is Spreading Awareness About Sexual Assault)
Raisman wanted to speak at Nassar's sentencing, so she submitted a powerful letter to the federal judge in charge of the case. But the judge decided not to allow any of the survivors, Raisman included, to read anything at the final hearing.
But Raisman still wanted other survivors to hear what she had to say, which is why she submitted an entry in The Players' Tribune. In it, she describes both the emotional physical impacts of Nassar's abuse, calling him out for the pain he's caused her and other survivors.
"You promised me that you would heal my injuries," she wrote. "You gave me gifts to make me think you were a good person, to make me believe you were my friend. You were nice so that we would trust you, to make it easier for you to take advantage of so many people, including me. But you lied to me. You lied to all of us."
She explained how her experience with sexual assault haunts her to this day, interfering in both her professional and personal life. "I still have my triggers. My work requires frequent travel, and I feel anxious traveling by myself. I find myself constantly looking around, paranoid and afraid to be alone," she said. "This situation has also affected my relationship with my parents, with whom I've always been extremely close. Over the last year, so many of my conversations with my parents have been about dealing with the trauma of what happened."
Raisman suggests that USA Gymnastics and other large organizations take steps to combat sexual abuse, including education and holding people in positions of power accountable for their actions. If nothing else, she hopes her story "will help other survivors feel less alone, less isolated, and encourage them to speak up and to get help."