Father lunges at Larry Nassar in court before being restrained

The father of three daughters who were abused by Larry Nassar tried to attack the former doctor in an Eaton County, M...

Posted: Feb 3, 2018 10:02 AM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 10:02 AM

The father of three daughters who were abused by Larry Nassar tried to attack the former doctor in an Eaton County, Michigan, court Friday before he was tackled and detained by security.

Randall Margraves said he was a "distraught father" and cursed at Nassar, but Judge Janice Cunningham told him that was not allowed in court.

He then asked the judge for personal time alone with the "demon."

"I would ask you, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon," he asked. "Would you give me one minute?"

The judge declined, saying, "That's not how our legal system works."

"Well, I'm going to have to," Margraves responded, and he launched into a sprint toward Nassar.

Security rushed to stop him and grabbed him from behind before he was able to reach Nassar.

"I want that son of a b****!" the man yelled as he was being detained. "Give me one minute with that bastard."

He added, "What if this happened to you guys?"

The incident sparked harsh words from Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis in court.

"You cannot behave like that," she said. "No one can behave like this. I want to make sure it's crystal clear."

As he was ushered out of the room, Margraves responded: "You haven't lived through it, lady."

Margraves: 'I lost control'

The violent outburst came after more than two weeks of raw, powerful statements from young women who were sexually abused by Nassar over the past two decades. More than 150 women spoke out about Nassar in an Ingham County courtroom during the past two weeks, and dozens more have spoken out about Nassar's abuse here in Eaton County court this week.

Margraves is the father of Lauren and Madison Margraves, two young women who had spoken emotionally about how Nassar abused them just before their father addressed the court. A statement from Morgan Margraves, his third daughter, was read at Nassar's sentencing in neighboring Ingham County last month.

Margraves was detained for a possible contempt of court proceeding, according to Eaton County Sheriff's Office. He was brought back into the court in handcuffs during a lunch break, and he apologized to the court. He said he acted out because he did not know beforehand what his daughters were going to say and because Nassar was shaking his head "like it didn't happen."

"I lost control. I apologize a hundred times," Margraves said. "I'm definitely calmed down. I'm embarrassed. I'm not here to upstage my daughters. I'm here to help them heal."

Judge Cunningham agreed to release him without a fine or punishment "given the circumstances of the case," she said, but still affirmed that he acted inappropriately.

"You have to understand that this is a courtroom and this is where we carry out and enforce the rules of law," she said.

"We cannot and I cannot tolerate or condone vigilantism or any other type of action that basically comes down to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," she added. "That's not what's best in this situation. What's best here is that we take this horrible tragedy and we learn to educate people."

Nassar, the former doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, has pleaded guilty to 10 criminal sexual conduct charges across two Michigan counties. In court, he admitted to abusing his trusted position to sexually abuse girls under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar is currently in Eaton County Circuit Court as dozens of women have come forward to explain how his abuse changed their lives.

Also on Friday, the US Olympic Committee announced that a law firm has been hired to conduct an independent investigation into what the USOC and USA Gymnastics knew about Nassar's abuse and when, and how they handled the information. The partners leading the investigation for the firm, Ropes & Gray, are former federal prosecutors with experience handling sexual abuse cases.

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