Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman tells Larry Nassar ‘you are nothing’ in impact statement

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:24 PM

VIDEO: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Testifies Against Larry Nassar

One after another, gymnasts and other victims stepped forward in a Michigan courtroom to recount the sexual abuse and emotional trauma Larry Nassar inflicted on them as children.

Nassar, who is the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, pleaded guilty to molesting girls with his hands at his Michigan State University office, his home and a Lansing-area gymnastics club, often while their parents were in the room. He also worked for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

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Victims, often referred to as survivors in the court room, described experiencing “searing pain” during the assaults and having feelings of shame and embarrassment. They said it had changed their life trajectories — affecting relationships, causing them to be distrustful and leading to depression, suicidal thoughts, anger and anxiety about whether they should have spoken up sooner.

Prosecutors are seeking at least 40 years in prison for Nassar, who has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have said they, too, were victims.

Related: Gabby Douglas accuses team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse

Raisman said Monday she would not attend the sentencing, but later changed her mind.

“I will not be attending the sentencing because it is too traumatic for me,” Raisman tweeted. “My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together.”

CNN reported that Raisman read her victim impact letter in court Friday in front of Nassar.

Former Olympians Aly Raisman, left, and Jordyn Wieber sit in Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom during the fourth day of sentencing for former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who pled guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. (Matthew Dae Smith /Lansing State Journal via AP)(Matthew Dae Smith/AP)

“I didn't think I would be here today. I was scared and nervous. It wasn't until I started watching the impact statements from the other brave survivors that I realized I, too, needed to be here,” Raisman said, according to BuzzFeed News. “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over so long a period of time, are now a force and you are nothing?” 

Related: Signs a doctor may be a sexual predator

Raisman praised fellow survivors and called on USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry to take responsibility for the organization, which Raisman said was “rotting from the inside.”

“A word of advice: Continuing to issue statements of empty promises thinking that will pacify us will no longer work,” Raisman said. 

Nassar admitted in November that he digitally penetrated 10 girls, mostly under the guise of treatment, between 1998 and 2015. As part of plea deals in two adjacent Michigan counties, he said his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.

Related: Simone Biles latest gymnast to claim team doctor sexually abused her

The criminal cases followed reports last year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving him and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse.

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Thief uses oxygen tank to blow up ATM, police say

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

Cobb County authorities said a thief blew up an ATM and took an unspecified amount of money.
WSB-TV
Cobb County authorities said a thief blew up an ATM and took an unspecified amount of money.(WSB-TV)

Courtney Brimanson and her husband were sound asleep when they heard an explosion miles away from their Mableton home. 

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“It just woke me up, out of a dead sleep,” she told WSB-TV, “and I was trying to figure out what had happened.” 

That explosion was a thief using an oxygen tank to blow up an ATM on Veterans Memorial Parkway, Cobb County police said. 

Cobb fire officials said a suspect is in custody, but the name has not been released, WSB reported.

Police do not know how much money was stolen from the machine, which hasn’t been replaced. 

Officials are still investigating what the thief used with the oxygen tank to make the ATM explode. 

>> Related: Police: Teen girl staged robbery, set up friend to be victim

“I was really thankful everybody was OK,” Brimanson said. “I was worried somebody got hurt.”

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George, Amal Clooney donate $500,000 to Parkland shooting survivors

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 12:24 PM

Parkland Shooting Victims Receive $500,000 Donation From George, Amal Clooney

Nearly a week after the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, George and Amal Clooney have announced they will participate in The March For Our Lives on March 24 and have donated $500,000 to the group.

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The celebrity couple made the announcement in a statement from George Clooney. People reported the donation was made in the name of the couple’s 8-month-old twins Ella and Alexander.

“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School,” Clooney said in a statement. “Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it.”

Related: Gabrielle Union, Kim Kardashian, more celebs call for gun control after Florida school shooting

The March of Our Lives event was announced by Students David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky, Jacqueline Coren and Emma Gonzalez, five survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. On Feb. 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school, killing 17 people.

Related: Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The March For Our Lives march will be in Washington, D.C. According to the group’s website, “the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end this epidemic of mass school shootings.”

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Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probe

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:26 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:26 PM

Robert Mueller - Fast Facts

An attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to the FBI in the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump's campaign.

The charges against lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan are the latest in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

READ MORE: Who is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller?Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation?What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with?MORE

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Files First Charges

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Bride stuck in elevator almost misses reception

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:24 PM

WATCH: Bride Stuck In Elevator On Wedding Day

You don’t want to be late for a wedding reception, especially if you’re the bride.

That’s what happened to a bride in Rhode Island, The Associated Press reported.

Melissa Rodger was on her way to the 18th floor at the Providence Biltmore hotel over the weekend.

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The elevator stopped 4 feet short of the floor, the AP reported.

It took the aid of firefighters to get the bride on her way to her party.

The rescue took about 45 minutes to happen, but the reception was only delayed for about 20 minutes, the AP reported.

A repair person got the elevator working later.

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