Gymnast McKayla Maroney and her mother Erin Maroney are speaking out against Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in connection with 10 former patients in state court in Michigan last month.
Originally intending to read a victim-impact statement out loud in open court before sentencing, McKayla, who was part of the U.S.'s gold medal-winning "Fierce Five" team in 2012, has written a letter, her account of abuse and its impact on her, that will be read privately by the Michigan judge, who is slated to sentence the doctor in a child pornography case on Thursday.
McKayla and her parents are asking the court to give Nassar the maximum punishment, 60 years.
Last week, the federal judge ruled that the victim-impact statements could not be read out loud in court, but McKayla and her mother's statements have been made public by their attorneys.
In Erin Maroney's letter to the judge, the mother wrote, "I ... learned a few weeks ago from my daughter that at the world championships in Tokyo, [Nassar] drugged her, made her lay nude on a treatment table, straddled her and digitally penetrated her while rubbing his erect penis against her...She was only 15 years old. She said to me, 'Mom I thought I was going to die.'
"This experience has shattered McKayla," she continued. "She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead."
McKayla's letter details how the abuse began at 13, the "scariest" night of her life and where she was failed along the way.
Read McKayla's full letter to the judge...