Abuse led to dad's suicide: Victim

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Kyle Stephens gives a victims impact statement at the sentencing of Larry Nassar.- AFP
Kyle Stephens gives a victims impact statement at the sentencing of Larry Nassar.- AFP

Lansing (Michigan) - Stephens was the first of nearly 100 women who are expected to provide victim-impact statements during the four-day hearing.

By Reuters

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Published: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 9:41 PM

One of the victims of USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to molesting dozens of girls, on Tuesday blamed the disgraced doctor for her father's suicide.
Kyle Stephens, pausing to compose herself during Nassar's sentencing hearing in a courtroom in Lansing, Michigan, said the doctor, a family friend, began molesting her when she was 6 years old and her parents did not believe her when she told them.
"You convinced my parents that I was a liar," Stephens said.
"Little girls don't stay little forever," she added. "They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world." Once her father realised she was telling the truth, he took his own life, Stephens said.
Stephens was the first of nearly 100 women who are expected to provide victim-impact statements during the four-day hearing.
Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for the 54-year-old Nassar, who served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.
Several victims gave emotional testimony on Tuesday and asked Ingham County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to impose the maximum sentence.
Donna Markham, the mother of Chelsea Markham, testified her daughter was molested by Nassar after seeking treatment for a back injury she suffered in a fall off a balance beam when she was 10, Sports Illustrated reported.
Chelsea never recovered from the abuse and it led her to a life of drugs, culminating with her in suicide in 2009 at age 23, the mother said according to the magazine.
Outside the courtroom, Markham told she felt compelled to speak for her daughter. "I wanted him (Nassar)to hear what happened to my daughter ... the fact that he started the process of her self-destruction," according to video posted on the Lansing State Journal website.
 
 



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