Randall Margraves, the father of three girls who were abused by former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, was apprehended Friday morning after rushing the defendant’s table to attack Nassar.
During Nassar’s final sentencing hearing in Eaton County Circuit Court in Michigan, Margraves asked Judge Janice Cunningham if he could have “five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” referring to Nassar.
“You know I can’t do that,” the judge said. “That’s not how our legal system works.”
After Cunningham rejected Margraves’ request, he rushed toward the man who had sexually abused his daugthers.
He wasn’t able to reach Nassar as courtroom officers took him down and then escorted him out of the room.
After spending time in a holding cell, Margraves told the judge, “I lost control. I apologize a hundred times. I’m definitely calmed down. I’m embarrassed. I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”
The father told reporters that he became enraged when he saw Nassar shaking his head at his daughter’s statements “like it didn’t happen.”
“I cannot tolerate or condone vigilantism or any type of action that comes down to an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,” Cunningham told Margraves.
She then added, “No way this court is going to issue any type of punishment, considering the circumstances.”
“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,” Cunningham told the courtroom. “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.”
While hundreds of victims have shared their horrifying stories of abuse by Nassar during his sentencing hearings, it was the first time that someone attempted to harm him.
“What’s best here is that we take this horrible tragedy and we learn to educate people,” Cunningham said.
Nassar has already been sentenced to 175 years in state prison for seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the first of his two hearings last week.
Now the Eaton County Circuit Court will sentence him further.
“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 against Nassar.
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