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Sexual-abuse victims of gymnastics doctor Nassar tell how he damaged their lives

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In a Michigan courtroom, victims delivered emotional statements about sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. (KABC)

One by one in a Michigan courtroom, gymnasts and young women delivered emotional statements about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar has already pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault and is awaiting sentencing as the Michigan attorney general's office seeks 40 to 125 years in prison, representing 125 girls and women who filed abuse reports against him at Michigan State University.

He also already has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.

The women who testified wanted to make sure the 54-year-old Nassar never gets out of prison.

"You are a repulsive liar," victim Kyle Stephens said in court.

She said his abuse against her began when she was 6.

"Sexual abuse is so much more than a disturbing physical act," she said. "It changes the trajectory of a victim's life and that is something no one has the right to do."

Donna Markham testified about her daughter Chelsey's downward spiral which began with abuse by Nassar and ended in her suicide.

"It all started with him," she said. "And just became worse."

She added that she told her daughter's coach about the abuse, but he did not believe it.

"He said 'Oh no, that couldn't have happened. I've known Larry for years.' I said well Tim it did happen."

In court the victims did not have to show their faces on camera or reveal their identities in public, but many chose to come forward to tell their stories.

Their voices joined those of Olympic stars like Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and, most recently, Simone Biles, who say they were also sexually abused by Nassar.

The judge has set aside four days for nearly 100 people to deliver victim-impact statements before sentencing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
sex abusesex abuse against childrengymnasticschild pornographyMichigan
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