A 16-year-old gymnast says a Michigan sports doctor accused of molesting her and many other athletes made her uncomfortable during visits for back pain.
Testimony resumed Friday in a Lansing-area court. The judge must decide whether there's enough evidence to send Dr. Larry Nassar to trial on sexual assault charges. The case involves seven women or girls, although dozens more are suing him.
Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. He's accused of molesting girls with his hands. He denies wrongdoing.
One of three alleged victims who testified on May 12 briefly returned to court. She says Nassar never told her that he would be touching her private areas with ungloved hands. Four more girls could testify Friday.
Myofascial release is an alternative medicine procedure at the center of the trial. The procedure is meant to relax tight muscles.
The alleged victims said they saw Nassar for various issues from back pain to hamstring injuries because they wanted to feel better and he was considered a gold standard among gymnasts.
Nassar's attorney tried to use that against one alleged victim. He questioned why she continued to see Nassar even after the alleged crimes took place.
A reoccurring theme stated by victim after victim in the hearing was Nassar allegedly performed the acts without any gloves on and without giving them any warning about what he was doing.
"They would always take me back to the gymnastics room," an 18-year-old alleged victim testified on Friday.
She said she felt happy to be seen by Nassar because he was the best of the best.
"Gymnastics posters everywhere with autographs from Olympians of college gymnasts and pictures everywhere," the alleged victim said.
Nassar was just back from working with Olympians when this alleged victim began seeing him for back pain. She was about 12-years-old.
She said she didn't question any of his actions, even those that made her uncomfortable, because he was someone she trusted.
"Before the observation even started he walked in and he handed me an Olympic pen and said that he got these pens and thought of all of his gymnasts and especially me," she said.
It was in that same room where she said Nassar assaulted her, penetrating her with his fingers during her third visit. He is accused of doing similar things to a host of other patients.
The alleged victim said it took her years to come forward because she was concerned no one would believe her.
Nassar's attorneys tried to point to motive. They mentioned the alleged victims are also part of civil suits that seek damages. They also questioned the alleged victim's assumption that what Nassar did was a crime.
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