Carly Patterson, the 2004 Olympic all-around champion, spoke publicly for the first time about Larry Nassar, according to NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Patterson, who said she was not harmed by Nassar while knowing him during her gymnastics career from 2000-04, said she felt sick to her stomach watching gymnast after gymnast testify in court in January that Nassar sexually abused them.
“Larry is obviously a very, very sick man,” Patterson said. “I think he probably deserves more than life in prison. We’ll just leave it at that.”
Patterson, now married with a 7-month-old son, was a junior national champion in 2002 before competing on the senior elite international level in 2003 and 2004. Nassar was “around all the time, pretty much,” she said, but never alone with Patterson.
“I never heard one word about Larry or that anything was inappropriately being done to any of my teammates,” Patterson said. “The one thing that makes me look back and kind of question something now and maybe question if I was being groomed to be a victim, I guess you could say, was he did come into our rooms.”
Nassar is serving likely lifetime prison sentences after pleading guilty to sexually abusing women and girls under the guise of medical treatment and possessing child pornography. Michigan State, where Nassar also served as a sports doctor, agreed to pay $425 million among 332 women and girls who came forward as survivors.
Patterson said she never felt unsafe at the Karolyi ranch, where gymnasts said Nassar sexually abused them during national-team camps, but she supports investigating USA Gymnastics.
“No stone needs to be left unturned in this situation,” she said. “There needs to be complete, 100 percent honesty. There needs to be accountability for everything that’s happened, and we need to see a complete, 100 percent turnaround in our sport.”
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