CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Law enforcement officers had to restrain and remove a father who attempted to physically attack convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar during a sentencing hearing in Eaton County on Friday morning.
Randall Margraves rushed at Nassar in court Friday morning after two of his three daughters provided impact statements outlining how the former doctor sexually assaulted them. The third gave her statement in an Ingham County courthouse earlier this month.
Margraves reached a table where Nassar and two of his attorneys were seated before he was tackled by a host of law enforcement officers in the courtroom.
“Give me one minute with that bastard,” he said as Nassar was taken from the room.
After his two daughters spoke Friday morning, Margraves asked Judge Janice Cunningham whether “an distraught father” could address the court. He asked the judge, as part of her sentencing, to “grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.” The judge said she could not do that.
Margraves then asked for one minute alone with Nassar. When the judge told him that wasn’t possible, he told her that he would have to take his time in the courtroom.
Margraves then rushed at Nassar, who sat in an orange jumpsuit shackled at the ankles.
Nassar and his attorneys were both escorted from the courtroom while officers subdued Margraves.
As officers led Margraves from the courtroom, he yelled that others haven’t had to live with what he has. It’s unclear to whom he was directing his comments.
Impact statements resumed in the courtroom after a roughly 30-minute break.
“I’m sorry that happened. I’m sorry you had to experience it,” Cunningham said to the gallery of the courtroom. “My heart started beating fast and my legs felt shaky because of that quick eruption of violence.
“… To have watched the pain and suffering that loved ones have gone through is unimaginable. If it is hard and difficult for me to hear what his daughters have to say, I can’t imagine what it is like for a parent. No one is making any excuses for what the defendant did in this case. However, these are legal proceedings, and the criminal justice system is doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in state prison for seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the first of his two sentencing hearings last week. This hearing is to decide his sentence for three other counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Friday’s incident was the first attempt to physically harm Nassar.
“I’m going to apply the law, and Mr. Nassar will be sentenced. That’s our legal system,” Cunningham said. “That sentence will consume the rest of his natural life. He has been sentenced in Ingham County for the same thing. That is how our system works.
“We cannot react by using physical violence and assault against someone who has performed criminal acts. That’s not how our system works. What Mr. Nassar did is horrible. It’s unthinkable. But please let the criminal justice system do what it’s supposed to do.”
More than 250 women have filed police reports saying that Nassar sexually abused them. Most of them say Nassar used his authority as a well-respected sports doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics to sexually abuse girls and young women.
Assistant attorney general Angela Povilaitis addressed the gallery of women and their families waiting to provide impact statements Friday. Roughly 190 impact statements have been submitted in the two courtrooms so far this month.
“This is letting him have power over us,” Povilaitis said to others in the courtroom. “We cannot behave like this. I understand Mr. Margraves’ frustration, but you can’t do this.”
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