Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber testify against Larry Nassar

by Tracy Connor /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Gymnasts Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, two stars of the 2012 Olympics, teamed up again on Friday to deliver a double-barreled attack on doctor Larry Nassar and the institutions they say protected him for years while he molested his patients.

At the end of their statements, by turns tearful and angry, applause filled the packed Michigan courtroom where Nassar has been reluctantly listening to scores of his accusers testify ahead of his sentencing next week.

The hearing marked Wieber's first public acknowledgement that she was sexually assaulted. She is the fourth member of the captivating "Fierce Five" squad to accuse Nassar of using an ungloved hand to violate her under the guise of medical treatments.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

"He did it time after time, appointment after appointment," she said at a podium across from the witness box where Nassar sat in blue jail clothing. "I had no idea he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit," she said. "I knew it felt strange."

Raisman had previously said she would not attend the hearing because she was too scared. But she was inspired to come by other victims who spoke, and there was no trace of fear as she stared Nassar in the face.

"You are nothing," she told him.

"The tables have turned. We are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere."

The words must have stung Nassar, who relished his status as the Olympic doctor and covered the walls of his Michigan State University medical practice with photos of the champions he had treated over decades.

But the disgraced doctor wasn't the only target of Wieber and Raisman's anger. Both questioned how USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee could have given a predator unfettered access to girls far from their homes and families.

Raisman wanted to know why representatives of USA Gymnastics, the national governing body of the sport, only attended the hearing for half a day and why the Olympic Committee had not shown up at all.

She said neither organization had reached out to her or conducted a completely independent investigation of the scandal. When USA Gymnastics announced Thursday that it was cutting ties with the Karolyi Ranch, where some gymnasts say they were abused, there were girls training at the facility, Raisman said.

"Talk is cheap," she said, adding that the organization was "rotting from the inside."

USA Gymnastics had no immediate comment. USOC said in a statement that it has "proactively arranged for multiple independent reviews of our safe sport policies and practices since 2010. We are open to any further process or review that could lead to a safer environment for athletes who participate in Olympic and Paralympic sports."

Michigan State University has also been under fire for its handling of Nassar, accused of sweeping away complaints about him for years until the scandal broke in 2016.

An attorney hired by the university to investigate found no wrongdoing by higher-ups. But amid calls for President Lou Anna Simon to step down, MSU on Friday asked Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to review the matter. John Manly, an attorney for most of the accusers, called the move "too little too late."

Although Nassar initially insisted his procedures were medically sound, he changed his tune after being caught with a huge cache of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to possession of the material and was sentenced to 60 years. He has since pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls in Ingham and Eaton counties in a deal that allowed all the accusers to speak.

Wieber and Raisman decided at the last minute to add their names to list. Teammate McKayla Maroney sent a written statement that called Nassar "a monster of a human being." The fourth 2012 member, Gabby Douglas, said she was abused but has not given a statement at the hearing.

Wieber is from Michigan, where Nassar had his sports medicine practice, and he began treating her when she was eight years old, she told the court. He showered her with attention and affection and became a trusted friend.

"I didn't know these were all grooming techniques he used to manipulate me," she said.

When Wieber was 14 she suffered an injury — and that's when he began violating her with his hand under the guise of treatments, she said.

 U.S. gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and Jordyn Wieber bite their gold medals at the Artistic Gymnastics women's team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Matt Dunham / AP file

"This is when he started performing the procedure we are all so familiar with," she said.

She spoke to Raisman and Maroney about Nassar's technique, but none of them really understood it, she said. After Wieber made the 2012 Olympics team, she got a painful stress fracture. Her teammates were also struggling physically.

"Our bodies were all hanging by a thread when we were in London," she said. "Who was the doctor USA Gymnastics sent to help us get through? The doctor who was our abuser."

Nassar was the only man allowed in the dorm rooms, and there was no supervision of his sessions.

"Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of," she said. "My parents trusted USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar to take care of me and we were betrayed by both."

Wieber said that once she realized that she had been abused, she became angry for not recognizing it earlier. "But even though I am a victim, I do not and will not live my life as one," she said.

Earlier this week, Nassar complained in a letter to the judge that it was too difficult for him to listen to victim testimony.

Raisman was aghast.

"You are pathetic to think anyone would have any sympathy for you," she said, her voice dropping with contempt. "You think this is hard for you? Imagine how all of us feel.

"Imagine," she said, "how it feels to be an innocent teenager in a foreign country, getting a knock on the door — and it was you."

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.