Who knew? Gymnast’s father, coach tell different stories about abuse
Differing stories a ‘blame game,’ coach says
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - When Amanda Jetter was just 13 years old, she says Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her and used his cellphone to record the whole thing.
The gymnast pulled a hamstring and that landed her in the office of the Olympic Team Doctor at Michigan State.
“I didn’t tell anyone, not my parents, not a team mate, no one. I probably would have taken it to the grave,” said Amanda.
Amanda’s mom and coach thought Dr. Nassar’s ‘treatments’ were working. Amanda says she pretended they worked, hoping she wouldn’t have to go back to Larry Nassar. At the time, Jerry Jetter asked his daughter if Nassar touched her inappropriately and she told him, “No.”
Years later, Jerry says he and Amanda did talk.
“I stopped her because I told her, because I say, Amanda, I don’t want to know and I believe you,” said Jerry.
But there was a sign. Amanda’s mom and dad both say, there was a sign.
“I saw what I saw,” said Jerry.
After Nassar performed his “treatment” on Amanda, he went into the waiting room asked Jerry to record her “therapy.” Amanda’s mom was also in the room and she says her husband thought something wasn’t just right with the way Nassar was touching her daughter.
Jerry said he felt uncomfortable and went to Mary Lee Terry, Amanda’s gymnastics coach at Cincinnati Elite Gymnastics for six years. Mary Lee says Jerry did not tell her what happened.
“If any athlete of mine or parent would ever come to me with something like that, I would act on it immediately,” said Mary Lee.
“And she goes, ‘Jerry, I don’t know. I’m not a doctor but I can assure you Larry is the finest doctor I’ve been with.’ And she was loyal to Larry. She defended him and it just kinda faded away,” said Jerry.
Mary Lee says Jerry never said a word about Larry Nassar. At the time, no athlete did.
“Why didn’t he go to the cops?” asked Mary Lee about Jerry’s claims.
“Maybe I just should have pushed a little further, a little harder. Maybe we should have said, hey, send us a copy of that video,” said Jerry.
Mary Lee calls it a “blame game.”
“None of my athletes, none of my parents ever came to me and said that anything was inappropriate and I have had lots of great relationships with athletes and parents because I believe that you all have to stay connected. And you know what? Even Amanda’s parents. I stayed very connected to both Jerry and Denise. I mean, we worked together as a team to help make Jetter the athlete she became,” said Mary Lee.
Nassar was sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years on seven first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
“All these girls told their stories, the stories they told gave me goosebumps, they’re the same stories. Same verbiage. The same. It was scary,” said Jerry.
Mary Lee says Nassar is a person that fooled everyone.
“I know what type of person I am,” she said. “I would never have stood still if a parent or an athlete told me that something was inappropriate.”
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