The story of his depravity has unspooled over 16 months; a newspaper expose led to an avalanche of police complaints and lawsuits and a cascade of disclosures from America’s best-known gymnasts.
But the case did not truly explode into the national consciousness until last Tuesday when, in the midst of a the #metoo movement, the first wave of women told their stories in court.
“You get a sense of what 150 actual human beings look like,” said Joan Ryan, author of a 1995 book, “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes,” about the dark side of elite gymnastics and figure skating. “It’s the scope of it and the depth of the suffering.”
When the hearing started, about 100 women were slated to give statements, and Nassar was supposed to be sentenced last Friday. But day by day, more accusers came forward and the proceeding was extended three times.