You are on page 1of 18

Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-6 filed 04/04/17 PageID.

104 Page 1 of 4

Denhollander, et al. v. Aquilina, et al.

Case No. forthcoming



Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-6 filed 04/04/17 PageID.105 Page 2 of 4

) ss


Affiant, Rachael Denhollander, being duly sworn, deposes, and states:

1. My name is Rachael Denhollander.

2. I am at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

3. I am a victim of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar.

4. I am Victim C in The People of the State of Michigan v. Lawrence Gerard Nassar, in

Ingham County District Court Case Number 17-000425-FY. Three charges of Criminal
Sexual Conduct, First Degree, have been filed by the Michigan Attorney General on my
behalf against Defendant Nassar.

5. I am also a plaintiff in the civil suit Denhollander, et al. v. Nassar, et al., U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Michigan, Case No. 1:17-cv-29.

6. This is my written testimony evidencing that the order entered by the Circuit Court in
Ingham County on March 29, 2017 is an unconstitutional violation of my First Amendment
right to Freedom of Speech.

7. It is my understanding, I, as a victim of Larry Nassar, may be compelled to testify in any

proceeding against him involving a minor.

8. As such, I reasonably believe that I am a potential witness in the case currently before the
court and referenced in the courts restraining order.

9. I have been restrained by the courts order from making statements to the media or any
public statements to third parties, by this order.

10. The inability for I and other victims of Larry Nassar to speak freely causes harm to us as
individuals by unconstitutionally abridging the rights we are guaranteed under the First

11. It is my opinion every athlete who raised concerns about Larry Nassars techniques was
silenced and officials repeatedly insisted Larrys sexual assaults were standard medical

Page 1 of 3
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-6 filed 04/04/17 PageID.106 Page 3 of 4

12. Silencing the victims directly caused harm to me, and to many others, by making it
impossible for us to speak out about our experiences and the actions of Larry Nassar.

13. The Courts gag order is another attempt to silence victims, compounding the damage
already done.

14. I chose to speak publicly with my full identity known to members of the media.

15. When my public statements were disseminated by the media, other women who had been
victimized at Nassars residence came forward to the police.

16. Information has continued to be uncovered as additional victims of Larry Nassar finally
received the information needed for them to feel safe and confident reporting to the police,
as a result of hearing my statements and the statements of other victims.

17. As a victim who could have been spared the devastating pain of repeated sexual assault
had Larry Nassar, MSU and USAG not been the sole voices listened to and heard, I am
deeply distressed to have my freedom to speak taken away and my voice silenced once

18. The order entered against me and the other victims, witnesses, and attorneys covers all
third party disclosures and all public statements outside of direct quotes from the court
record. This leaves me with no way to communicate important information in any
alternative venue.

19. The order which the court entered covered all disclosure of information not currently
available in the court record, and also prohibited any form of commentary when
information from the records were disseminated.

20. It prohibits even the disclosure of information such as my Title IX report, which is public
record and official documentation of an investigation.

21. This order also extends to any form of public communication, even commentary which is
not inflammatory and poses no arguable risk of abridging Defendant Nassars right to a
fair trial.

22. This complete bar on my freedom of speech, far beyond what is necessary to prevent any
abridgment of the defendants rights, is damaging to me as an individual, to victims of
Larry Nassar, and to the ability to bring Larry Nassar to justice

23. As worded, the order prohibits me from speaking about this case to literally any person,
including my own husband, and other private conversations.

Page 2 of 3
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-6 filed 04/04/17 PageID.107 Page 4 of 4

24. I am unable to know with any degree of certainty what persons I may, or may not,
communicate with.

25. Due to the wording used by the court, I cannot reasonably be expected to know with any
degree of certainty what I may or may not say with respect to this case.

26. It is not reasonable to believe or assert that any and all disclosure, private statement, or
public statement, irrespective of how it is worded or phrased, will result in the denial of the
defendants right to a fair trial.

27. I appreciate the importance of the defendants right to a fair trial. However, my right to
free speech is of equal importance.

28. I make these statements on my own free will and volition due to my concerns as noted

29. I state under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the
foregoing is true and correct. Executed on April 3, 2017.

30. Further Affiant sayeth not.

/S/ Rachael Denhollander -original to be filed with the Court _____________

____________________________________ April 3, 2017
Rachael Denhollander Date

Page 3 of 3
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-7 filed 04/04/17 PageID.108 Page 1 of 4

Denhollander, et al. v. Aquilina, et al.

Case No. forthcoming



Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-7 filed 04/04/17 PageID.109 Page 2 of 4
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-7 filed 04/04/17 PageID.110 Page 3 of 4
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-7 filed 04/04/17 PageID.111 Page 4 of 4
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.112 Page 1 of 10

Denhollander, et al. v. Aquilina, et al.

Case No. forthcoming



Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.113 Page 2 of 10

) ss


Affiant, Jamie Dantzscher, being duly sworn, deposes, and states:

1. My name is Jamie Dantzscher.

2. I am at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

3. I have lived California most of my life, and currently reside there. I have only visited

Michigan on one or two occasions, to compete in Gymnastics. I have not made a police

report involving any crime to any Michigan law enforcement agency.

4. I am presently 34 years old. When I was a little girl, I became involved in elite gymnastics.

Thanks to the sacrifices of my parents and 6 brothers and sisters, God given talent, and

hard work, I advanced quickly in artistic gymnastics. I made the United States Junior

National Team at the age of 12, then advanced to The United States Senior National Team,

and The United States Olympic Team. I competed in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

I won a bronze medal for my country in those games. I won many other competitions and

medals in my elite gymnastics career. Elite gymnastics in the United States is governed by

its National Governing Body, USA Gymnastics.

Page 1 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.114 Page 3 of 10

5. Following my retirement from elite gymnastics, I went on to a successful college Division

1 gymnastics career at UCLA. During my college career, I won seven different NCAA

national championships in Gymnastics. I was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of

Fame in 2016. In addition to having a successful athletic career at UCLA, I was able to

obtain my bachelors degree in psychology.

6. Since my gymnastics career has completed, I have tried to remain active in the sport. I have

coached, provided commentary and tried to follow the sport.

7. In September of 2016, my attorneys filed a lawsuit on my behalf, alleging sexual abuse by

Dr. Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. It names various defendants, including

USA Gymnastics, its former Presidents and Larry Nassar. That case is pending in


8. In order to understand how this abuse took place, it's important to understand the toxic

environment created by USA Gymnastics. Once I made the Junior National Team, I was

subjected to almost daily intimidation. Screaming, belittling, body shaming, periodic denial

of proper nutrition, improper and inadequate medical care, and improper care of physical

injuries were common during my training. This abuse occurred in California, at

international meets all over the United States and the world, at the Karolyi Ranch (aka US

National Team Training Center in Texas), and at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney,


9. The team physician for USA Gymnastics during my entire elite career was Dr. Larry

Nassar, a physician at Michigan State University, and the Official womens team doctor

for USAG and the Olympic team. He would travel with the team and treat all gymnasts on

the team throughout the United States, and during our travels to international competitions.

Page 2 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.115 Page 4 of 10

10. Dr. Nassar was a witness to much of the emotional and physical abuse inflicted on me and

many of my National Team teammates by coaches and trainers at the Karolyi Ranch and

other venues all over the U.S. and the world.

11. Dr. Nassar "treated" me dozens, if not hundreds of times, for severe hip and back pain. His

treatments included, but were not limited to, placing his ungloved hand into my vagina to

get my hips to "pop" and "adjust" my back. He would keep his hand inside me for what

seemed like an eternity. It hurt, but Dr. Nassar was very nice, sympathetic, and provided a

sharp contrast to the overtly abusive and frightening environment overseen by USA

Gymnastics, Bela and Marta Karolyi and others. I believed he was helping me obtain my

dream to compete in the Olympic Games. I trusted him and liked him. Dr. Nassar would

sneak food and candy to me and my teammates and provide kind words and support. He

was constantly in the gyms and witnessed the abuse by Bela and Marta Karolyi, their staff,

and some of the US National Team Coaches.

12. Dr. Nassar never used any type of glove in his "treatment". There was never any lubricant.

There was almost never another adult present. Most of the treatments occurred in my

personal hotel rooms at competitions or in my personal cabin at the Karolyi ranch in Texas.

He never spoke to my parents about this "procedure. He never obtained written consent

from anyone to touch my genitals.

13. After my lawsuit was filed my attorneys requested all my medical records from USA

Gymnastics. Despite my many years on The USA National Team, USA Gymnastics has

no medical records other than my medical questionnaires, filled out by my mom. I have

Page 3 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.116 Page 5 of 10

also recently learned that Dr. Nassar did not have a license to practice medicine in Texas,

nor to my knowledge, any of the places he treated me, including California.

14. I began to understand only late last summer that Dr Nassar had sexually abused me and

that this was not legitimate medical treatment. I have also come to learn that in 2015, he

had been quietly dismissed by USA Gymnastics. He was fired because of allegations that

he had sexually abused minors on our Olympic and U.S. National Gymnastics Teams,

doing the same procedure on them as he had done many times on me. His firing was

covered up by USA Gymnastics and he was allowed to post messages on social media that

said he had retired to run for school board in Michigan.

15. I decided to retain an attorney and seek justice, not just for myself, but to protect others.

Initially, I filed as a Jane Doe but I did give an interview as Jane Doe to the

Indianapolis Star when my case was filed. Almost immediately after filing, I was attacked

on social media. My real name was outed on various social media sites, by Nassar

supporters, who were either told, or figured out my actual identity.

16. I am informed that USA Gymnastics attorneys called former boyfriends and tried to dig

up dirt on me, asking very personal and detailed questions about my relationships and sex

life as an adult. Many Nassar supporters blamed my parents and generally attacked my

character. This upset me greatly. I had done nothing except speak the truth about what

happened to me as a little girl. Their response was to blame the victim.

17. USA Gymnastics put out an immediate statement about my lawsuit. They said they found

out about Dr. Nassars misconduct in 2015, and had "immediately" contacted law

enforcement. A few months later, I found out that was a lie. (In February 2017 USAG

admitted that they failed to report for 5 weeks.) Dr. Nassar's criminal lawyers put out

Page 4 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.117 Page 6 of 10

statements this was all a misunderstanding, and that he was performing legitimate medical

treatment. Michigan State University has denied all responsibility as well.

18. After my lawsuit became public in the Indianapolis Star, I began to learn that I was not

alone. Almost immediately, others girls and women began to come forward with stories

disturbingly similar to mine. I learned through the media that there were dozens, if not

hundreds of victims. According to media reports, more than 100 women have already come

forward to law enforcement, and this number continues to grow whenever this story is

reported by the media.

19. Dr. Nassar was charged criminally, first for child sexual assault and then, as I understand

it, for child pornography by the FBI in December, 2016. The media reported that the FBI

found 37000 images and videos of children being sexually abused. It has been reported that

he filmed himself abusing children in a swimming pool, using a Go-Pro Camera he wore

on his head. At that point I began to consider speaking publicly about what happened to


20. I believed that speaking out was my right. I believe that this abuse was allowed to happen

because many adults at USA Gymnastics, at Michigan State, and in various gyms

throughout the country kept Dr. Nassar's secrets. They collectively failed to speak up, and

let Nassar assault children under the guise of medical treatment. I have numerous nieces

and nephews. I could not look at them any longer and stay quiet. I knew, as a former

Olympian, that if I spoke, people might be more likely to listen and act to protect children.

21. The decision to speak publicly about being sexually abused was very difficult. The

prospect of it was embarrassing, frightening, humiliating, and painful. I knew once I spoke

out publicly, my family, friends, teammates and the world would all know about it. I was

Page 5 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.118 Page 7 of 10

especially concerned about my parents feeling responsible for what happened to me. They

are not responsible. They are victims as well.

22. I decided to first talk about my experience on 60 Minutes, along with two other National

Team gymnasts abused by Nassar. That was broadcast on Feb 19 of this year. I have since

appeared on several other national shows and done several newspaper interviews about my

experiences and the need to protect defenseless children in the sport.

23. Fortunately, good people with power heard my voice and the voices of other former

gymnasts. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman

Charles Grassley introduced a bill to make all Olympic Sports, including gymnastics,

subject to a new Federal mandatory reporting law. The law establishes criminal penalties

for people in National Governing Bodies that have reason to know or suspect sexual abuse

of a child athlete and do not report it to authorities. Now, if the type of physical, sexual

and emotional abuse I and others experienced is reasonably suspected, adult coaches and

staff must report.

24. Additionally, after I went public along with other former gymnasts, many in the media and

sports world called for the resignation of USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny. Mr.

Penny had been involved in covering up many abuse cases including Nassars over many

years. Even the US Olympic Committee called on him to resign or to be removed. Steve

Penny submitted his resignation within a month of the 60 Minutes broadcast.

25. I, my National Team teammate Jeanette Antolin, three time national champion rhythmic

gymnast Jessica Howard and 1996 gold medalist Dominque Moceanu were asked to testify

before the US Senate Judiciary Committee last week, by Senators Grassley and Feinstein.

On March 28, 2017, we all testified at a two hour hearing on the bill in a packed Senate

Page 6 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.119 Page 8 of 10

Judiciary Hearing Room. Then we attended the press conference with Senators. During the

hearing, a USOC representative actually publicly apologized to me and the other gymnasts

for our abuse as athletes (something USAG refuses to do). The Senators who attended the

hearing were sympathetic, kind and supportive of the Bill. It's worth noting that USA

Gymnastics Chairman Paul Parilla refused an invitation to testify, and instead went to

Mexico on vacation.

26. Speaking to some of the most powerful people in the U.S. Senate about what happened to

me was a healing experience. I began to hope things might actually change. Some of the

Senators assistants told me I would likely be called to testify again in the House of

Representatives when the Bill is introduced there. The hearing was broadcast live and

widely covered by the National Media.

27. I traveled back to California that night. The next morning (March 29, 2017), I woke up to

learn that something terrible had happened. I learned that Michigan Judge Rosemarie

Aquilina had entered a gag order preventing me, and hundreds of others of victims of Dr.

Nassars from speaking to anyone about what happened to us. The order even prevents

witnesses to his abuse from speaking to anyone about what happened. I also learned that

Dr. Nassar's lawyers asked for the gag order only 4 or 5 hours after I testified to the U.S.

Senate on March 28th.

28. I'm not a lawyer and have only a very basic understanding of our legal system. However,

I do not understand how a judge in Michigan can legally order me not to speak to other

women about what happened to me, not to speak to my friends, not to speak to my family,

not to speak to law enforcement, parents of gymnasts, not to speak to legislators, not to

speak on social media, and not to speak at all about what happened to me. I'm concerned

Page 7 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.120 Page 9 of 10

if I violate the order, even accidentally, I could be put in jail at the request of Dr. Nassar.

Your Honor this is not right. It is painful and frightening.

29. I also learned that Judge Aquilina is a law professor at Michigan State University. Im

informed that Judge Aquilina stated at the hearing on the gag order that her daughter has

just been hired as the new head of public relations for Michigan State University. Isn't that

a conflict of interest? Clearly Michigan State University wants myself and the other

survivors to be quiet. Surely, if someone is going to take away my right to speak about

being sexually assaulted and demand accountability, I ought to to have a hearing before

my right to speak is taken away. I know this is not a legal argument, but to me this seems

very wrong and an abuse of my Constitutional rights. Worse, the denial of my right to

speak is directed by the man who assaulted me as a little girl and those who protected him.

30. Your Honor, the culture of secrecy at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University

allowed Dr. Nassar to get away with molesting little girls for more than 20 years. This gag

order draws the blinds on the cleansing rays of sunlight that exposed in this horrible episode

and begin to purify USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. In my view this

Order shoves all of us abused by Dr. Nassar and others back into the darkness of silence.

It intimidates victims who are trying so hard to heal. It unquestionably will have the effect

of frightening other women and girls into silence about their abuse. The Order only

benefits Dr. Nassar, and those at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University who

enabled him.

31. Please, Your Honor, I beg you, let us speak. Let us shout from the rooftops that abuse is

wrong. Let us say that we were abused and that those responsible for it need to be held

accountable and the institutions that enable them must change.

Page 8 of 9
Initialed: ______
Case 1:17-cv-00305-JTN-ESC ECF No. 1-8 filed 04/04/17 PageID.121 Page 10 of 10