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Enraged Father Charges Former USA Gymnastics Doctor in Court

  • VOA News

Randall Margraves, left, lunges at Larry Nassar (wearing orange) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, during victim statements of his sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, Feb. 2, 2018.

An enraged father tried to attack former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom Friday for sexually abusing his three daughters.

Randall Margraves lunged at Nassar after a judge rejected his request to confront the doctor in a locked room.

Margraves was tackled by sheriff’s deputies and hauled out of the court in front of his shocked daughters. He later returned to the court and apologized for his behavior, saying he “lost control” and was “embarrassed by his conduct.”

County Judge Janice Cunningham said there was “no way” she would punish Margraves for his actions given the circumstances of the case.

Eaton County sheriffs restrain Randall Margraves after he lunged at Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, during victim statements of his sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, Feb. 2, 2018.
Eaton County sheriffs restrain Randall Margraves after he lunged at Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, during victim statements of his sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, Feb. 2, 2018.

“I don’t know what it would be like to stand there as a father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in a courtroom. I can’t imagine that,” the judge said.

However, Cunningham said it is “not acceptable that we combat assault with assault.”

Third sentencing

The court hearing Friday was for the third and final sentencing of Nassar, who has admitted to sexually assaulting girls under the guise of medical treatment. He was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison at earlier hearings.

Before the attack took place, two of Margraves’ daughters gave tearful statements to the court about their abuse, part of a group of more than 200 women who have given such statements.

Margraves then asked to speak.

“I would ask you as part of the sentencing to grant me 5 minutes in a locked room with this demon,” he said to the judge, gesturing toward Nassar.

Judge Cunningham said she could not do that. Nassar then asked for 1 minute alone with Nassar, and when the judge again denied him, he lunged toward Nassar.

Gasps and shouts filled the courtroom and one of Nassar’s lawyers moved to protect his client. As officers wrestled with Margraves and pulled him from the room, he shouted, “What if this happened to you guys?”

‘I lost control’

After a lunch break, Margraves was brought back into the court handcuffed. Margraves said he did not know what his daughters were going to say and was overcome by emotion.

“I got to hear that, and I got to see Larry Nassar over here shaking his head ‘no,’ like it didn’t happen,” he said. “I lost control.”

Margraves later told reporters: “I was blinded to the fancy degrees hanging on [Nassar’s] office wall and I delivered unintentionally my three daughters to a demon who had his own twisted and sick agenda for his own demented desires. Now I have to live with the fact that I failed to protect my daughters.”

The sheriff’s office said it would investigate the attack and send a report to the local prosecutor. It is not known if there will be any charges against Margraves.

The case against Nassar has sparked investigations into how USA Gymnastics, U.S. Olympic officials and Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked, failed to investigate complaints about him.

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