“Victim Z.A.” is no longer hiding in the shadows.
As we reported, ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar will be sentenced this week in a Michigan court room after pleading guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault in November 2016. The disgraced physician has already been slapped with 60 years in federal prison on child pornography possession charges.
On Tuesday, the formerly anonymous victim Kyle Stephens appeared at the hearing to confront her abuser one last time. The young woman — who says she was the first to speak out against his abuse — told the court:
“I was the first to testify in this case, and worried of the attention that could come of that, I asked for complete anonymity… I’m addressing you publicly today as a final step and statement to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.”
According to the Washington Post, Nassar — a family friend of Stephens — first began abusing her when she was 6 years old in the boiler room of his house’s basement. The victim says the medical professional later masturbated in front of her, rubbed his genitalia on her feet, and placed his fingers inside her vagina.
“I have been coming for you for a long time. I’ve told counselors your name in hopes they would report you. I’ve told your name to Child Protective Services twice. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges. And now as the only nonmedical victim to come forward, I testify to let the world know you are a repulsive liar.”
Although she told her family, they didn’t initially believe her, and she continued interacting with Nassar, acting as his family’s babysitter.
When she turned 18, her father finally believed her story before committing suicide in 2016. Though he was “experiencing debilitating health issues,” he also “had to bear the shame and self-loathing that stemmed from his defense of Larry Nassar.”
“Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
WATCH the emotional clip (below):
[Image via MLive/YouTube.]