McKayla Maroney, mother want Larry Nassar to spend the rest of his life in prison

Maroney will be in attendance at Larry Nassar's sentencing on Thursday in Michigan.  Getty Images

Former Olympian McKayla Maroney is still seeking justice against Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor that, according to Maroney, sexually abused her for years. Other USA Gymnastics members have come forward, including Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, alleging abuse against Nassar. Nassar has already admitted to downloading child pornography, and will be sentenced in federal court on Thursday.

Maroney's victim-impact statement will not be read in open court, but the letters written by her and her mother, Erin Maroney, were procured by ESPN's "Outside the Lines". The letters detail the lasting damage done to Maroney by Nassar. The judge presiding over the case has said she will read the letters privately.

"This experience has shattered McKayla," Erin Maroney wrote in one of the letters, via ESPN. "She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead."

Maroney has said in the past that Nassar called his abuse "treatment." In her letter, she mentioned the first time Nassar abused her. 

"It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first national team training camps, in Texas, and it didn't end until I left the sport. Because the national team training camps did not allow parents to be present, my mom and dad were unable to observe what Nassar was doing."

Erin Maroney corroborates this, and her account of the isolation from parents ran deeper. She wrote that she and McKayla's father "were not allowed to stay with McKayla" while traveling and "sometimes we were not even in the same hotel."

She went on to say that "we were never allowed to the U.S. Olympic Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch nor any other training facility. My husband once questioned the propriety of the isolation of the girls during international travel. He was assured by Steve Penny that the girls were safe at all times. 'More safe than the President of the USA,' he said to him. We now know that this was a lie."

Erin Maroney also detailed one graphic incident. She "learned a few weeks ago from [McKayla] that at the world championships in Tokyo, [Nassar] drugged her, made her lay nude on a treatment table, straddled her and digitally penetrated her while rubbing his erect penis against her. She was only 15 years old. She said to me, 'Mom I thought I was going to die.'"

McKayla's Maroney's testimony mentions the incident as well, saying that Nassar "had given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting treatment."

Some of the Maroneys' most cutting words went to Team USA and Michigan State, which previously employed Nassar.

"Our daughter was totally failed by USA Gymnastics, by Michigan State University and by the U.S. Olympic Committee. No one from the USOC has ever reached out to me or my husband or my daughter to inquire about her well being. Not once. No one has apologized. After McKayla spoke with an investigator with USA Gymnastics in July 2015, USA Gymnastics and the USOC kept the knowledge of [Nassar's] status as a child molester secret from Michigan State University after 2015 and even said nothing when he ran for school board in his local school district!"

McKayla's testimony was a bit more measured, but no less pointed. "A simple fact is this: If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar's behavior, I never would have met him, I never would have been 'treated' by him and I never would have been abused by him,"

Michigan State has vehemently denied any allegations of covering up Nassar's behavior. Nassar awaits sentencing for his child pornography case on Thursday-- a sentence that carries at least 27 years in prison after his plea. This does not sit well for McKayla Maroney, who does not believe there should be a limit on Nassar's term. "He abused my trust, abused my body and left scars on my psyche that may never heal," she wrote. "Larry Nassar deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison."

Our Latest Stories