Their remarks are both brutal and triumphant.
On the first day of Larry Nassar’s four-day sentencing hearing, 29 women and girls spoke, sharing their pain and anguish after being sexually abused by the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor.
They included Kyle Stephens, the woman Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting in his home when she was a child visiting with her parents.
"Perhaps you have figured it out by now," she said, addressing Nassar directly as he looked down, covering his eyes with his hand. "Little girls don't stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world."
All 125 women and girls who filed reports about Nassar with police were given the chance to give impact statements during Nassar’s sentencing. Court officials said Tuesday that 98 plan to do so, either in person or through submitted statements.
They are the “Me Toos” Nassar himself once predicted.
Days after the Indianapolis Star reported that two women said Nassar sexually assaulted them during medical appointments, Nassar emailed his boss, the dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, to tell him about all the support he’d received from the gymnastics community.
Then, Nassar hinted that there might be more who would say he had abused them.
"I am trying to make sure I take advantage of this time before the ‘Me Toos’ come out in the media and the second media blitz occurs," he emailed his boss, William Strampel, on Sept. 15, 2016, the day prosecutors told the State Journal they’d received a "handful” of new allegations.
Those “Me Toos” have burgeoned into an army who will fill four days on Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's docket, detailing their devastation after being abused by Nassar and telling Nassar what they think of him now. Many are appearing in person, walking to a podium on the third floor of Veterans Memorial Courthouse, where Aquilina expects to sentence Nassar on Friday.
Nassar sentencing day one: Victim impact statements
Nassar, once a famed sports medicine doctor who worked for MSU and USA Gymnastics, pleaded guilty in November to 10 sexual assault charges split between Ingham and Eaton counties. His Eaton County sentencing is set for Jan. 31. In December, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. MSU fired him in September 2016. He had already stopped working with USA Gymnastics by then.
The women and girls can choose to speak anonymously in court, with media forbidden to report their names. But many opted to be identified, including some minors whose parents had to confirm that decision for the judge.
Jade Capua said her first plan was to speak anonymously, but she later changed her mind.
"After thinking about it, and taking time to cope with facing this fear of mine, I decided to finally put a name to it," she said. "I am Jade Capua, and I am a survivor."
The women and girls who spoke detailed the abuse they said they suffered at Nassar's hands, often looking right at him as they said what he did to them.
They spoke about the lasting trauma, self doubt and loss of trust. They shared how the abuse impacted their school work, their relationships and their career goals.
They spoke about depression, or as Danielle Moore put it, being "stuck in the darkness."
"You are no longer a doctor," she told Nassar. "You have been stripped of your medical license. And soon, you'll be known by your prison number for what I hope to be the maximum sentence.
"I find this fitting, as I was a thing, inhuman or just a number to you. ... I will no longer be known as a number. And I will be known as Dr. Danielle Moore."
Marion Siebert began her statement by addressing Nassar directly.
"You hindered the trajectories of our lives that we and our parents worked so very hard for, and changed the rest of our lives in ways that we're still realizing and dealing with every day," she said to Nassar. "This is what makes this crime so heinous.
"The cost is so high and the damage is complicated and impossible to measure."
Kerry Perry, who was named USA Gymnastics' president and CEO in November, was at Tuesday's hearing. She sat in the back row as many speakers criticized both MSU and USA Gymnastics, saying the organizations allowed Nassar's abuse to continue for decades.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon and Board of Trustees Chairperson Brian Breslin didn't attend, although they had considered doing so; a university spokesman said they watched the live stream of the proceeding.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose staff prosecuted Nassar on the criminal charges, was in the courtroom for the beginning of the hearing.
Many of the women and girls who spoke asked Aquilina to give Nassar the most severe sentence she could. The judge said she hadn't decided what Nassar's sentence will be, but said she will abide by the plea agreement, which means the low end of his sentence will be between 25 and 40 years in prison, with a maximum of up to life.
"Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment," Aquilina said near the end of the first day of Nassar's sentencing hearing. "If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls, these young women in their childhood, I would allow some or many people to do to him what he did to others."
The sentencing hearing continues Wednesday morning.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.