When Randall Margraves asked to speak in a Michigan courtroom Friday, he was obviously angry. Two of his three daughters who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar had just finished delivering their victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing Friday. Margraves’ third daughter had spoken the day before.
“You son of a bitch,” Margraves quickly said to Nassar, who has already been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. At which point Judge Janice Cunningham asked him to abstain from using profanity.
Margraves then had another request. “I would ask you as part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” he said to the judge. When Cunningham demurred, Margraves dropped his time request: “Would you give me one minute?” The judge told him he knew “that I can’t do that” as some in the courtroom appear to laugh nervously at the request. That’s when Margraves seemingly decided to take matters into his own hands and lunged toward Nassar, who was seated wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Officers managed to tackle Margraves just as he was about to reach Nassar. “One minute!” Margraves repeatedly yelled out as he was handcuffed. “What if this happened to you guys?” he said to the police officers who dragged him out of the courtroom.
Although Margraves was held in direct contempt of court, Cunningham said he will not be fined nor arrested. “There is no way this court is going to issue any type of punishment due to the circumstances of this case,” Cunningham said. The judge did issue a warning: “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.”
Margraves ultimately apologized to the court for his actions. “I lost control. I apologize a hundred times,” he said. “I’m definitely calmed down. I’m embarrassed. I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”
The outburst “underscored the pain Nassar’s abuse has caused his victims’ parents,” notes Reuters. Several parents have openly spoken about how guilty they feel about essentially delivering their children to a sexual predator. More than 250 women have filed police reports saying Nassar sexually abused them.