Charlotte, MI – Judge Janice Cunningham has refused to have a father charged for attacking the man who sexually assaulted his daughters.
The father, Randal Margraves, has three girls who were victimized by former sports medicine doctor for U.S. Olympic gymnasts, Larry Nassar. Margraves attacked Nassar in court on Friday and the incident was captured on video (video below.)
WDVI reports that after the attack, Judge Cunningham ordered him held until she could determine if there would be any charges.
Later on Friday, the man appeared before Judge Cunningham who condemned his actions, but said that there would be no punishment for him.
Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis also condemned the man’s attack on Nassar.
“I don’t want to see another parents get arrested or put handcuffs on, or a victim,” she said according to WDVI. “We cannot behave like this. 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. This is not helping the police department. Use your words. Use your experiences to get him and to change. Do not use physical violence.”
The attack on Nassar happened after sisters Lauren and Madison Margraves had finished reading their victim statements a court in Eaton County, their father asked to speak, Reuters reported.
“I would ask you as part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” Randal Margraves requested, pointing at Larry Nassar. “Would you do that?”
Judge Janice Cunningham told the distraught father she couldn’t do that, and so Margraves asked for one minute alone with Nassar instead. The judge said no, and that’s when chaos broke out.
The angry father lunged toward Nassar, but was stopped by law enforcement in the courtroom.
Several deputies took Margraves to the ground, and handcuffed him.
While it appeared as many as five deputies participated in subduing and handcuffing the distraught parent, they could be heard speaking calmly and gently to him as they did their jobs.
Margraves struggled for a minute, and deputies patted him on the head and said comforting things like “Take it easy buddy” and “Relax sir,” as they cuffed the angry father who kept asking for “just one minute” with the doctor who had stolen his daughters’ innocence.
Nassar was already sentenced to up to 175 years in prison at an earlier hearing after he pleaded guilty to molesting young women who were supposed to be his medical patients.
Nassar’s sentencing was put on hold briefly while Margraves was removed from the courtroom and put in a holding cell while authorities determined what charges he might face, NBC News reported.
“Obviously what just occurred in the courtroom was scary and caused a level of discomfort for all of you,” Cunningham said. “I’m sorry that happened.”
The judge expressed empathy for Margraves but said there was no excuse for violence.
“I recognize that Mr. Margraves had three daughters that he has had to watch go through the pain and the hurt,” the judge said.
“If it is hard and difficult for me to hear what his daughters had to say, I can’t imagine what it is like for him,” Cunningham admitted.
“What Mr. Nassar did was horrible. It’s unthinkable. But please let the criminal justice system do what it’s supposed to do,” the judge told the volatile courtroom.
Nassar had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges when Judge Rosemarie Aquilina bumped it up to 175 years on Jan. 24, for sexually assaulting multiple female athletes.
“You do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told the disgraced physician. “I just signed your death warrant.”
Over 160 women accused Nassar of sexually assaulting them, many of them while they were still children. Almost all victims met Nassar after a sports-related injury.
The abuse went on for so long under the ruse that sexually penetrating juvenile girls was a medical procedure.
“Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure,” victim Amanda Thomashow said in court, according to CNN. “That master manipulator took advantage of his title, he abused me, and when I found the strength to talk about what had happened I was ignored and my voice was silenced.”
One of his victims spoke up about how MSU was still trying to bill her mother for the appointments where she was sexually assaulted.
Nassar apologized in court, saying, “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
However, his apology was a major change the letter he wrote to the court claiming that his sexual assaults were “treatments” that worked, and accused the media of turning the victims against him.
“I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
You can see the video of the courtroom attack on Nassar below: