Ex-gymnast: Michigan sports doc's assault was 'humiliating' - WNEM TV 5

Ex-gymnast: Michigan sports doc's assault was 'humiliating'

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Larry Nassar (Source: CNN) Larry Nassar (Source: CNN)
MASON, Mich. (AP/WNEM) -

A former gymnast has testified that a Michigan sports doctor brazenly molested her when she was 15, at a hearing to determine if he will face trial on sexual assault charges.

Rachael Denhollander had chronic back problems in 2000 when she went to see Dr. Larry Nassar at Michigan State University. She testified Friday he assaulted her with his hands on many visits while her mother was in the room.

Denhollander said it was "humiliating." But the 32-year-old said she trusted Nassar because he worked for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

There's not an area of my life that's not affected by what Larry Nassar chose to do. It destroyed my ability to trust," Denhollander said.

Denhollander traveled from Kentucky to tell her story in court.

She said Nassar penetrated and massaged her private areas during five appointments when she was 15.

"And my presumption was this must be the technique that he's doing. I'm here because he does things no other doctors can do," Denhollander said.

She said friends told her about alternative techniques that could include vaginal penetration, so Denhollander assumed it was a legitimate practice.

Denhollander said it wasn't until her fifth appointment when she said she saw Nassar visually aroused when he allegedly massaged her breast that she began to suspect abuse.

She said she told her coach at a Kalamazoo gymnastics club about allegations and that person warned her she could face repercussions if she spoke up.

She said she came forward facing public humiliation to help prevent sex abuse from happening to other victims.

Nassar is charged with sexually assaulting seven gymnasts at his Michigan State clinic. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Associated Press and TV5 typically do not identify people who say they're victims of sexual assault, but Denhollander has publicly identified herself.

Click here for part 1 of her testimony

Click here for part 2 of her testimony

She spoke with TV5 back in February about the alleged assault. Read the I-Team report here

You can count on TV5 for complete coverage on air, online and on our mobile app. 

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