The Dad Of Three Larry Nassar Victims Lunges At "Demon" Coach In Court During Sentencing

By
Share
Ad failed to load

There is nothing about the trial of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar that isn't absolutely gut-wrenching. In January, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls testified that he sexually abused them while they sought treatment from him for gymnastics injuries. On Friday, Nassar returned to court for another sentencing hearing, but after a judge denied a father's request to speak to Nassar directly, the dad of three of Larry Nassar's victims lunged at the "demon" coach in court, according to CNN, before being tackled and arrested by courtroom security.

Video from the footage is about as unsettling as it sounds: during the sentencing hearing, sisters Lauren and Madison Margraves spoke about being abused by Nassar, and afterward, their father, Randall Margraves, asked Judge Janice Cunningham if she would "grant [him] five minutes in a locked room with this demon." When Cunningham denied his request, he then asked, "would you give me one minute?" Cunningham responded by saying, "You know that I can't do that. That's not how our legal system works," before the distraught dad suddenly ran toward Nassar, only to be quickly detained. While being held down, Margraves yelled, "I want that son of a b*tch!"

CNN on YouTube
Ad failed to load

The startling incident was a clear reflection of the pain felt by everyone touched by the Nassar case. Although Nassar has already been sentenced to so many years behind bars that he'll never walk free (in 2017, he was also sentenced to an additional 60 years for possession of child abuse images, according to The Guardian), it won't make up for the abuse his victims endured — or for the heartbreak and outrage felt by their parents and loved ones.

Yet after Margraves' attempted attack, Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis admonished the father, according to CNN, and reminded the court room that, even given the circumstances, that kind of behavior wasn't acceptable. According to CNN, Povilaitis told the families gathered in the courtroom:

You cannot behave like this. This is letting him have his power over us ... I understand Mr. Margraves' frustration, but you cannot do this. This is not helping your children, this is not helping your community, this is not helping us ... Use your words, use your experiences ... do not use physical violence.
Ad failed to load

Margraves' response as he was escorted out of the courtroom? "You haven't lived through it, lady."

Margraves may not have agreed with Povilaitis' assessment, but she did at least have a point: in the video, Margraves' daughters can be seen standing beside him nervously while he spoke to the judge, with one of his daughters whispering "stop," as he continued to ask for time alone with Nassar. When he then made a run toward his daughters' abuser, she yelled out, "Dad!" before watching him be tackled by bailiffs. After being pulled up from the ground following his arrest, he asked the men, "What if this had happened to you guys?" while crying could be heard in the background.

Ad failed to load

On social media though, many users acknowledged the fact that his actions were understandable, even if they may have not been right. After all, the agony that Margraves and the other victims' families must have been feeling is hard to even imagine:

Ad failed to load

And some felt that granting Margraves a chance to get even with Nassar was only fair:

Ad failed to load

One Twitter user though had another (particularly brilliant) idea for supporting Margraves without condoning the violence:

Ad failed to load

At this point, more than 265 people have come forward to accuse Nassar of abuse, according to TIME, with Friday's court appearance focusing on molestation charges against Nassar by athletes at a Michigan gymnastics club, which Margraves' daughters belonged to. Survivors who have spoken out against Nassar during the hearings have spoken of his "manipulation" and the way he took advantage of families' trust to ensure he was able to continue abusing the gymnasts. Former gymnast Annie Labrie said she ultimately hid abuse from her parents, according to The Merced Sun-Star, in part because she believes gymnasts "were conditioned for years to obey at all costs." In her own statement, former gymnast Katherine Ebert called Nassar "the most vile, disgusting creature [she has] ever met," and said, "There are black holes in my memory that come back as nightmares or flashbacks, not wanting to believe they're true."

Regardless of your take on Margraves' actions, it seems like his anger and heartbreak are things that virtually all parents can empathize with. When you raise children and try as best you can to keep them safe, having to realize that such horrific acts were being committed against them by someone you believed you could trust would be devastating — especially when it also meant you'd later stand by and watch while they recounted their trauma in a courtroom, with their abuser in the same room.

Ad failed to load

The video of Margraves lunging towards Nassar during Friday's hearing isn't an easy one to watch, and it's certainly not something that every parent in his position would have actually done. But it's not at all hard to understand why he did it, or why even Nassar's life-long jail sentence would still not feel like justice was served.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}