OKEMOS, MICH. - Randall Margraves said he’s no hero.
In fact, the father who rushed Larry Nassar during his sentencing in Eaton County Friday said he was embarrassed by his actions.
"My daughters are the real heroes and all the victims and survivors of this,” Margraves said during a press conference Friday evening.
Margraves said hearing details of his daughters’ abuse for the first time Friday, combined with the sight of Nassar shaking his head drove him to attack the disgraced doctor.
"That's when I lost control," he said.
Margraves' attempted attack on Nassar went viral as live-stream video of the hearing was circulated widely online. He garnered support from many on social media who understood the stress and anger many parents associated with the Nassar case have expressed. His comments to the judge spawned the hashtag #GiveHimAMinute.
Margraves said he and his wife worked hard to provide opportunities for his daughters in a variety of sports. And, when they were injured in those sports, they took them to a world-renowned doctor.
“I delivered unintentionally my three daughters to a demon,” Margraves said.
Margraves nearly reached Nassar when he rushed the doctor shortly before 10 a.m. Friday during the second day of Nassar's sentencing hearing in Eaton County.
He was blocked by Nassar’s attorney Matthew Newburg and tackled by at least three deputies.
“Give me one minute with that bastard,” Margraves said after he was tackled.
His daughter, Morgan Margraves read her victim impact statement during Nassar's Ingham County sentencing in January, but Randall Margraves was not in attendance. On Friday, he said he had not yet heard his daughter's testimony.
Margraves' daughters, Lauren and Madison Rae, had just finished speaking Friday morning when he addressed the judge.
"I would ask you as part of this sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon," Randall Margraves said following his daughters' statements.
Eaton County Circuit Judge Janice Cunningham said she couldn't do that. He asked for a minute, and she said she couldn't allow that.
Randall Margraves then ran at Nassar and nearly reached him before Newburg intervened.
Morgan Margraves, 27, spoke on behalf of her sisters at the press conference Friday. She said she and her sisters had found it difficult to speak to their father about their experiences.
"It was hard for my dad to hear what each of us experienced explicitly for the first time today,” Morgan said. But she added that the family realizes "justice cannot be served through one individual."
Randall Margraves asked for privacy for his family and expressed his contempt for Nassar and his actions that impacted so many.
"I will tell you I believe in God almighty," Randall Margraves said. "I believe in heaven and hell. I can only hope that when the day comes when Larry Nassar has ended his days on earth" that he goes to the "deepest, darkest, hottest pit in hell there is."
Cunningham found him in direct contempt of court, but declined to fine or jail him.
Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said Randall Margraves' case remains under investigation and likely would be forwarded to prosecutors.
Mick Grewal, Margraves' lawyer, said he's been in communication with the sheriff and prosecutor and hoped to avoid charges.
Margraves' three daughters are plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court against Nassar, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics.
During the press conference Friday, Grewal said a GoFundMe page set up in support of Randall Margraves was not authorized and asked that it be taken down.
By the end of the day Friday, about $16,000 had been raised through the fundraising site. A GoFundMe spokesman said he was working with the organizer to ensure the funds were handled appropriately.
Nassar, 54, was sentenced last month to between 40 and 175 years by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on seven sexual assault charges. In December, a federal judge sentenced him to 60 years in prison for three child pornography charges. His sentencing hearing in Eaton County began Wednesday and is expected to end Monday.
An Indianapolis Star investigation of USA Gymnastics, begun in 2016, uncovered widespread sexual abuse of athletes by coaches and others and failures to alert authorities. The IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY Network, revealed the first allegations of abuse by Larry Nassar.
Reporter Ken Palmer contributed to this report. Contact Reporter Beth LeBlanc at 517-377-1167 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LSJBethLeBlanc.
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