The trial of Larry Nassar has ended, but the conversation about sexual assault and accountability continues on — in part thanks to the outspoken Olympic gold-medalist Aly Raisman.
In Lansing, Michigan, under the gavel of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the sexual abuser received a 40- to 175-year sentence on Wednesday. The punishment was given after more than 150 women and girls, some of them Olympians like Raisman, told their stories of abuse during his multi-day sentencing hearing. The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor had pled guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual assault in two Michigan counties. This sentencing covers seven of the 10 counts, with another sentencing for the remaining counts expected later this month.
Raisman recognized her fellow survivors in a powerful way on Thursday: a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press thanking the women and girls by name (and by number, for those who did not want to go public).
In addition to the list of names, Raisman penned a statement thanking everyone — including her “fellow survivors” and Judge Aquilina — for listening. She also thanked law enforcement for their diligence, members of the media for reporting, and family and friends for their support.
“There are going to be good days and there are going to be tough days, but continue to take strength in the impact your courageous voice has had upon each of us, but also for all the other girls, boys, women and men out there who remain in the shadows but maybe now they can see a pathway towards the light,” she wrote in a statement shared to her social media accounts.
You can read Raisman’s full statement following the trial below:
Detroit Free Press gave the survivors a similar honor. The newspaper’s cover on Thursday listed their names and a note that read, “These women bravely came forward with their heartbreaking statements, making sure no one would forget what the monstrous doctor who worked at Michigan State University and for USA Gymnastics did to them.”
Nassar additionally received a 60-year sentence on child pornography charges in December.
Correction: This post has been updated to clarify the sentencing proceedings around Larry Nassar.