LANSING, Mich. – A former elite gymnast said Tuesday that a sports doctor who treated Olympic athletes overlooked what turned out to be a broken leg while he molested her in the basement of his home, one of the latest victims to testify at a Michigan sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar.
Isabell Hutchins practiced for weeks at a Lansing-area gymnastics club and even competed at national events despite acute leg pain as a teen in 2011. She said Nassar did nothing to encourage her to get help and instead molested her during late-night appointments at his home.
“You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me,” Hutchins told Nassar, who was seated a few feet away in the Ingham County courtroom.
Nassar, 54, has admitted sexually assaulting athletes under the guise of medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which is the sport’s national governing organization and trains Olympians.
Hutchins, who spoke as the sentencing phase of the assault case entered a sixth day, brought some of the trinkets that Nassar had given her from the 1996 Olympics and recalled how she helped clear his basement after damage from a flood.
Nassar pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people in Ingham County, but the sentencing hearing has been open to anyone who said they were a victim. Almost 160 women or girls have asked to speak or have a statement read on their behalf. Under a plea deal, he faces a minimum of 25 to 40 years behind bars, although the actual sentence could be much higher.
He already has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.
Before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina entered court, Nassar settled into a chair next to his lawyer and shook his head while reading a piece of paper.
The judge continued her practice of praising each speaker. She tried to ease the guilt of a mother who blamed herself for not catching the abuse.
“The red flags may have been there, but they were designed to be hidden. Leave the blame here with him,” Aquilina said.
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