Victims' father tries to attack Larry Nassar in courtroom

Randall Margraves, father of Lauren and Madison Margraves, tries to attack Larry Nassar in courtroom.

A father of three victims of Larry Nassar tried to attack the disgraced former sports doctor Friday during a sentencing hearing in Michigan. He was blocked by an attorney and tackled by sheriff's deputies.

He returned a few hours later to apologize to Judge Janice Cunningham, who said there was "no way" she would punish him under her contempt of court powers. She noted the anguish felt by families over Nassar's crimes.


Two of Randall Margraves' daughters had just told the judge that they and another sister had been sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. Margraves later addressed the court, telling the judge he was a "distraught father."

He looked at Nassar, shook his head and called him a profanity while speaking at the courtroom podium. The judge cautioned Margraves against using such language. He then asked her to grant him "five minutes" alone with Nassar as part of her sentence in the case. The judge said she couldn't allow that. He asked for one minute, and she again declined.

The father then lunged at Nassar, who was sitting nearby.

Crying could be heard in the courtroom as Nassar was escorted out. Assistant Atty. Gen. Angela Povilaitis told families in the courtroom to "use your words" not violence.

"This is letting him have this power over us," she said. "We cannot behave like this. I understand this is a remarkable situation. But you cannot do this. This is not helping your children. This is not helping your community. This is not helping us."

The incident came during the third and final sentencing hearing for Nassar on sexual abuse charges. The charges in this case focus on his work with Twistars, an elite Michigan gymnastics club. The judge resumed the hearing after about 25 minutes.

Moments before Margraves' stunning courtroom charge, one of his daughters, Lauren Margraves, had told the judge that her parents were "filled with regret" because they took the girls to see Nassar.

"I see the look in their faces and I know they want to be able to do something, but they can't," she told Nassar. "The guilt they have will never go away. All this is because of you."

More than 30 victims have given statements so far. During a similar hearing that ended last week, more than 150 girls and women came forward to say Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

More victims are expected to speak. The proceedings are likely to extend into next week.


10:50 a.m.: This article was updated with Randall Margraves apologizing and Judge Janice Cunningham stating she won't punish him.

9:45 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional quotes and background.

This article was originally published at 6:45 a.m.