• Kirkland survivor of Larry Nassar says victims need more protection

    By: Siemny Kim

    Updated:

    It's taken 14 years, but Bree Randall, of Kirkland, is no longer sitting in silence.

    Back in 2004, she was a high school athlete when she was referred to Larry Nassar for treatment of scoliosis. 

    That’s when, she said, he sexually assaulted her under the guise of medical treatment.

    She was 17 years old.

    And though she calls it the hardest thing she's ever done, last week she finally confronted him.

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    “I broke down the minute I saw him. However, when I got up there to give my statement, I felt powerful,” Randall said. “I felt like I finally had a voice people were listening to. I had lost that voice for so long. And I had it back and I intended to use it.”

    She and her mother filed a report in 2004 with Meridian Township police in Michigan.

    It was one of the first criminal complaints against Nassar.

    But the doctor claimed it was all a misunderstanding.

    Police took his word over hers.

    “There have been hundreds of young girls abused after 2004,” Randall said,

    She even went back to police years later but was told the statute of limitations had run out.

    “I thought, for years and years, how did I let him get away with this? How did they let him get away with this?” Randall said.

    Nassar's abuse spanned more than two decades.

    More than 150 girls and women shared their stories of assault this month in a Michigan courtroom.

    That's where Randall came face to face with Nassar for the first time in 14 years.

    "I am here today to tell you that I wasn't afraid of you then and I'm sure as hell not afraid of you now," said Randall in her victim impact statement.

    The Meridian Township Police Department, the very department that failed to investigate, paid for her flight from Seattle to Michigan so she could confront him.

    Randall, a new mother, initially didn't want to leave her newborn son.

    “However, once I thought about it more, I realized, in order to be the best mom, I needed to put this behind me, and I needed to face my abuser to be able to move on,” Randall said.

    And she's not done speaking out.

    She said, although she’s glad Nassar has been sentenced to up to 175 years behind bars and will no longer hurt young girls, more needs to be done for justice to truly be served.

    “Mr. Nassar was backed by two very large organizations USA Gymnastics and MSU (Michigan State University) who, unfortunately, put the reputation of their institution above the welfare of children,” Randall said. “We need to find out who knew what and when to prevent this from happening again.”

    Randall said MSU has not contacted her or any of the other victims.

    She also wants to know what specific steps are being taken, both at MSU and USA Gymnastics, to ensure this doesn't happen again.

    Randall also said she wants people to learn from this. She wants parents, authority figures and organizations to listen to children.

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