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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Father of Larry Nassar victims lunges at disgraced doctor in court” was written by Guardian sport, for The Guardian on Friday 2nd February 2018 18.07 UTC

The judge in the gymnastics sexual abuse case said on Friday there is “no way” she will punish the father of three girls who were his victims, after the man tried to attack the former US gymnastics team doctor in court on Friday.

Randall Margrave, the father of three daughters sexually abused by disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar, was nevertheless told by the judge that his actions were wrong, and Margrave apologized at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Michigan.

On Friday morning, after two of Margraves’ daughters had just given evidence, the father asked Judge Janice Cunningham for time alone with the former doctor.

“I would ask you as part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” said Margraves, who has a third daughter said also to have been abused while under Nassar’s care.

When the judge declined, Margraves shook his head at Nassar and called him a “son of a bitch”. As some in the courtroom laughed, the judge warned Margraves about his language. He then lunged at the doctor.

Bailiffs quickly wrestled Margraves to the ground, knocking objects off a desk in the struggle. Nassar was subsequently led out the room, while crying was heard in the courtroom.

As officers removed Margraves, he repeatedly demanded “one minute!” and asked: “What if this happened to you guys?”

A few hours later, Margraves apologized for his behavior. Cunningham then responded that there was “no way” she would punish him for his rush on Nassar.

She added that a punishment isn’t appropriate based on the crimes committed by Nassar and the anguish felt by families. But she also told those attending it is wrong to “combat assault with assault”.

Nassar had already been sentenced to up to 175 years in jail at a separate hearing last week, and to 60 years for possession of child abuse images in 2017. This week’s hearing focused on Nassar’s conduct at the Twistars gymnastics club in Michigan.

More than 30 victims have given statements so far. During the hearing which ended last week, more than 150 girls and women came forward to say Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

On Friday, a doctor who specializes in gynecology told the court that Nassar molested her at age 11 at a camp for elite gymnasts.

Brittney Schumann said she had chosen to identify herself because she couldn’t be an advocate for women’s health by staying anonymous. She told Nassar, a former sports doctor, that he was a “disgrace” to the medical profession.

After Margraves was removed, the lead prosecutor, Angela Povilaitis, told the public gallery: “I understand Mr Margraves’ frustration, but you cannot do this.” She urged families to “use your words”.

“This is letting him have this power over us,” she said. “We cannot behave like this. I understand this is a remarkable situation. But you cannot do this. This is not helping your children. This is not helping your community. This is not helping us.”

The judge said that although she could not imagine Margraves’ pain, “we cannot react by using physical violence”.

Margraves later apologized, telling the judge, “I lost control. I apologize 100 times.”

On Thursday, one of Nassar’s attorneys, Shannon Smith, cast doubt on the number of athletes her client is alleged to have abused. Cunningham opened Friday’s session by describing Smith’s comments as “unfortunate”.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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