On Monday morning, Emma Ann Miller joined the large and growing chorus of young women to confront their sexual assaulter Larry Nassar during his sentencing hearing in a Lansing, Michigan courtroom. At just 15 years old, Miller first needed her mother’s permission before she could read her victim impact statement in court.
In it, she recounted how she first met Nassar and began receiving monthly medical treatment from him beginning when she was just 10 years old. Her last appointment — and the last time he sexually assaulted her — came in August of 2016, days before he was fired from Michigan State University after his decades of abuse were finally exposed. Miller and her family are constantly reminded of that date because Michigan State continues to try and collect payments for her sexual assaults.
“I too was sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, multiple times at multiple appointments,” said Miller in court on Monday. “I’m possibly the last child he will ever assault. MSU Sports Medicine charged me for those appointments. My mom is still getting billed for appointments where I was sexually assaulted.”
In time, the many enablers of Larry Nassar — from officials at USA Gymnastics where he served as doctor for Team USA, to Michigan State where dozens of warnings went unheeded over a period of decades — will be forced to reconcile with their own complicity in the sexual predation of more than 140 women and girls over a period of more than two decades.
Among the annals of Michigan State University’s many transgressions, misdeeds, and oversights, Miller’s ordeal still stands apart. Countless victims insist that MSU was made aware of Nassar’s predation more than a decade ago, but even if you grant administrators the benefit of doubt, Nassar was unquestionably fired for cause 15 months ago, months after the Indianapolis Star first published their lengthy report detailing his abuse. Which effectively means that for the past year and a half, Michigan State has knowingly sought to make a 15-year-old victim pay for her own sexual assaults.
UPDATE, 1:55 PM: According to a local reporter based in Lansing, a spokesman for Michigan State University says the school will no longer send bills to patients of Larry Nassar.
Update from MSU spokesman:
A quick update to confirm: Patients of former MSU physician Larry Nassar will not be billed.
— Matt Mencarini (@MattMencarini) January 22, 2018