U.S. Olympian Aly Raisman, who said she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar throughout her training, responded to the former gymnastics doctor's sentencing and spoke out about her own history with sexual abuse in an article published on The Players' Tribune on Thursday.
"I am not a victim. I am a survivor," Raisman wrote. "The abuse does not define me, or anyone else who has been abused. This does not define the millions of those who’ve suffered sexual abuse. They are not victims, either. They are survivors. They are strong, they are brave, they are changing things so the next generation never has to go through what they did.
"There have been so many people who’ve come forward in the last few months. They have inspired me, and I hope, together, we inspire countless more. Surviving means that you’re strong. You’re strong because you came out on the other side, and that makes you brave and courageous."
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges earlier Thursday, per CNN's Elizabeth Joseph, Eric Levenson and Ray Sanchez. Raisman and five other women wrote letters that were supposed to be read at Nassar's sentencing until the request was denied by a judge.
She posted hers at the end of the article.
"Realizing that you are a victim of sexual abuse is a horrible feeling. Words cannot adequately capture the level of disgust I feel when I think about how this happened," the letter read in part. "Larry abused his power and the trust I and so many others placed in him, and I am not sure I will ever come to terms with how horribly he manipulated and violated me."
Nassar has also pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and has been accused of molesting at least 125 girls and women, including Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. He faces a prison term of at least 25 years for the guilty plea entered in court last month and will in all likelihood spend the rest of his life behind bars. His sentencing on those charges is scheduled for January.
Nassar was the team physician for four Olympic Games for USA Gymnastics and was also employed by Michigan State University until his September 2016 firing amid the charges.