When former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nasser admitted to sexually assaulting ten young gymnasts, he was sentenced to up to 175 years, meaning he’s expected to die in prison.
Since the Nasser scandal broke in 2016, at least 250 women say they were sexually assaulted by Nasser beginning in 1992.
One more victim has come forward: Gymnast Terin Humphrey, who won two silver medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Terin was only 15 years old when she was “treated” by Nasser at a 2002 gymnastics meet in Virginia.
“I had torn both my hips, so my coaches asked Dr. Nasser to see me,” Terin said. “One of my coaches accompanied me, but it didn’t make any difference – Nasser blocked her line of vision to make sure she couldn’t see what was happening. He pulled my briefs up so high that I knew I was exposed – and then he began petting me.”
Terin was caught off guard and jerked away from Nasser, but he continued assaulting her.
“I remember his smile got really wide and he made a sound I’ll never forget when he felt my pubic hair,” she said. “He kept his hand on my vagina and continued rubbing me. Then he digitally penetrated me.”
Terin, her coach, and Nasser were only in the exam room together for 15-20 minutes. Still, it was an “odd” experience that Terin brushed off, thinking that because Nasser was “a USA Gymnastics doctor, he probably had more expertise than my previous massage therapist.”
But as Terin digs up those long-ago memories, her recollections offer insight into the perverted mind of a serial sexual predator.
“He explained pubic this and pubic that,” she said. “I had no idea what he meant, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. I remember walking back to practice and not feeling any change in my hips. I also remember the feeling of his hands on me.”
The next day, Terin’s coaches asked her if her hips still hurt, and when she replied, “Yes” they trundled her off to see Nasser again.
“The same thing happened again, although I do remember him stretching me a little during the second visit. The next time my coaches asked if I was still in pain, I lied and said, ‘No’ because I didn’t want to go back to him,” Terin said.
At some point, Terin asked her teammates their opinion of Dr. Nasser, all of whom thought he was “wonderful.”
“That made me think I was being overly-sensitive, so I convinced myself it never happened and attempted to forget about it,” she said.
Terin’s “heart sank” when news of Nasser’s crimes broke, but it was another four years before she realized that she had been sexually abused.
“It took me years to acknowledge my abuse, so I’m certain there are other victims who have yet to come forward. When they do come forward, hopefully, the class action lawsuit we’ve filed will give them a voice, too,” she said.
Terin found her voice after becoming pregnant in 2019.
“I had the worst pregnancy ever,” Terin told the Southern California News Group. “The more I went to the doctors, the more I was having issues … I felt like my puzzle pieces were coming together, and I just remember when I had my pelvic exams, I remember seeing Larry.”
In July 2020, Terin was diagnosed with PTSD by Dr. Steven Elig, who said, “Late disclosure is not uncommon in sex abuse victims.”
He also said, “Worry about her unborn child, difficulties with doctors’ pelvic exams, delivery, touching her genitals (served as) reminders of her abuse (which) flowered once she found out she was pregnant. She presents as the real thing.”
Terin was also diagnosed with severe depression and is seeing a therapist twice weekly.
She feels guilty about putting her daughter, born in January 2020, through such a stressful pregnancy and is working hard now to be a good mom.
“I don’t want what happened to me to happen to my daughter,” she concluded.