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McKayla Maroney, recounting sexual abuse, calls ex-USA Gymnastics doctor a 'monster'

by Gina Vivinetto / / Source: TODAY

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Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney called former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar a "monster of a human being" in a dramatic personal statement read in court by an attorney Thursday, the third day of Nassar's sentencing hearing for sexual abuse.

Maroney, one of more than 100 women and girls expected to speak at this week's hearing, shared gut-wrenching details of being molested by Nassar, who in November pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual contact with underage girls in Michigan.

 Maroney was part of the U.S. gymnastics team during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where the team won gold. Shown here from left to right, Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross raise their hands during the medal ceremony on July 31, 2012. Gregory Bull / AP

"I remember watching the 2004 Olympics. I was 8 years old, and I told myself that one day I would wear that red, white and blue leotard, and compete for my country...I did it. I got there, but not without a price," wrote Maroney, 22, who was not present at the hearing.

The gold medalist, who first revealed in October that Nassar molested her, said when she met the former doctor, "I was told to trust him, that he would treat my injuries and make it possible for me to achieve my Olympic dreams."

Fellow gymnasts Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas have made similar accusations against Nassar. And earlier this week, Simone Biles said that she, too, had been a victim.

Nassar began sexual abusing the athlete when she was "13 or 14," and told her what he was doing was "medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years."

 Gymnast McKayla Maroney in 2015 Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

The abuse "didn’t end until I left the sport," Maroney wrote.

"It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated.' It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver medal. For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a 'treatment," she revealed.

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"I thought I was going to die that night," she wrote.

Maroney had sharp words for Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for not investigating Nassar sooner.

"If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar’s behavior, I never would have met him, I never would have been 'treated' by him, and I never would have been abused by him," she wrote.

As for the former doctor's sentence, Maroney was clear in her statement: "Larry Nassar deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison."

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