Victims′ father tries to attack former USA Gymnastics doctor Nassar | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 02.02.2018
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Victims' father tries to attack former USA Gymnastics doctor Nassar

A Michigan judge has said there is "no way" the father of three of Larry Nassar's victims will be punished for lunging at Nassar in court. A total of 265 people have accused the former gymnastics doctor of sexual abuse.

A father of three of Larry Nassar's victims tried to attack the former USA Gymnastics doctor in court on Friday, after a judge denied his request for five minutes alone in a locked room with him.

The attempted assault took place after two of the man's daughters told the judge they and another sister had been sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment.

Read more: Over 250 girls and women abused by Larry Nassar, Michigan judge says

How it happened

  • The incident occurred during the third and final sentencing hearing for Nassar on assault charges.
  • Judge Janice Cunningham denied a request from the girls' father, Randall Margraves, for five minutes with Nassar and then again when he asked for one minute. He then lunged at the former doctor.
  • Margraves was blocked by an attorney and tackled by sheriff's deputies before being removed from court.
  • The hearing continued 25 minutes later and Margraves returned a few hours later to apologize for his actions.
  • Cunningham said there was "no way" she would punish him for contempt of court, but added that it was unacceptable to "combat assault with assault."

Read more: Olympic champ Simone Biles — I too was abused by team doctor

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Assault victim's father lunges at Nassar

'Use your words'

Moments before Margraves' attempt to charge at Nassar, one of his daughters, Lauren Margraves, had told the judge her parents were "filled with regret" because they felt responsible for taking her and her sisters to see Nassar.

Read more: USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to sexual misconduct charges

Randall Margraves, the father of three of Larry Nassar's victims, is pinned to the ground after trying to lunge at Nassar (Reuters/R. Cook)

Security pins Randall Margraves to the ground in court

"I see the look in their faces, and I know they want to be able to do something but they can't," she told Nassar, adding: "The guilt they have will never go away. All this is because of you."

Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told families in the courtroom to "use your words," not violence after the attempted attack.

"This is letting him have this power over us," she said. "We cannot behave like this. I understand this is a remarkable situation. But you cannot do this. This is not helping your children. This is not helping your community. This is not helping us."

Read more: USA Gymnastics board to resign after sex abuse scandal

The cases against Nassar: In the current hearing, the charges against Nassar focused on his work with Twistars, an elite Michigan gymnastics club. More than 30 victims have given statements so far during the hearing that began on Wednesday and is likely to extend into next week.

During another hearing, which ended last week, more than 150 girls and women came forward to say Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked with Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in that case and had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.

law/sms (AFP, AP)

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