Larry Nassar, The Cut, by Kerry Howley

In my on-going interest with the Larry Nassar serial sexual molestation case, I am posting a recent and thorough story here. (see below for link to prior blog post on this subject) 

Like others, I have been horrified to hear of the systemic failure, multiple agencies that facilitated Nassar a conveyor belt of young females. There are lessons to be learned here. 

Six takeaways: 1) Victims usually know their perpetrator 2) Victims usually love their perpetrator 3) Family members of the victim often defend the perpetrator 4) Persons in authority roles are often blindly trusted, even in the face of reason to distrust 5) Abuse usually takes place in plain sight 6)Victims usually feel guilty for reporting, often forever 

  • ...In sports medicine the caliber of athlete one treats is taken to be correlated with curative power. Hospitals pay millions of dollars for the privilege of treating sports teams; UC–San Diego Health, for example, pays $1 million to treat the Padres.
  • Nassar’s accumulation of more than 37,000 images suggests an unusual level of deviance even among pedophiles. According to a sentencing memorandum issued by federal prosecutors for the Western District of Michigan, these images form a particularly “graphic” and “hard-core” collection, including children as young as infants and images of children being raped by adults.
  • It did not sound normal, for instance, that every week after practice, Jane had driven her daughter to a white three-bedroom house with green shutters, next to many identical houses in a development on a quiet street in Holt, Michigan, and taken her to see a man in the basement of that house. It didn’t seem normal that he never billed for these visits or that he always had hot chocolate waiting.
  • It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women.
  • If this is a story of institutional failure, it is also a story of astonishing individual ingenuity. Larry Nassar was good at this. His continued success depended on deceiving parents, fellow doctors, elite coaches, Olympic gatekeepers, athletes, and, with some regularity, law enforcement. 

And this on NPR, Gaslighting, November 12, 2018: 

"Instead of denying anything, he admits it; he says he did touch her breasts and vagina, but says it wasn't sexual. It was medical." This is Larry's playbook. He hammers his credentials and bombards the investigator with complicated medical terms about his techniques.