CHICAGO (CBS) — A father of three survivors of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse lunged at the convicted serial child molester in court on Friday, after a judge denied his request for “five minutes in a locked room with this demon.”
After two of his daughters gave statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in a Michigan courtroom, Randall Margraves called Nassar a “son of a bitch.” After the judge chided him for using profanity, Margraves continued his own statement about Nassar.
“I would ask you to, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” he said.
When the judge said she could not do that, Margraves then asked for one minute, and when he was turned down again, he ran toward Nassar. After bailiffs tackled him, Margraves continued to shout at Nassar.
“I want that son of a bitch! Give me one minute with that bastard,” he said.
Two of Margraves’ daughters had testified about being sexually assaulted by Nassar, and told the court their other sister also had been molested.
As bailiffs led Margraves out of the courtroom in handcuffs, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told other parents in court “no one can behave like this.”
“This is letting him [Nassar] have this power over us, okay?” she said. “I don’t want to see another parent get arrested, or put handcuffs on, or a victim. We cannot behave like this. I understand Mr. Margraves’ frustration, but you cannot do this. This is not helping your children.”
After a brief recess, Judge Janice Cunningham apologized for what happened, and said she sympathizes with the pain and suffering Margraves has gone through after three of his daughters were molested.
“If it is hard and difficult for me to hear what his daughters have to say, I can’t imagine what it is like for a parent,” she said. “We cannot react by using physical violence and assault against someone who is and has performed criminal acts. That’s not how our system works. What Mr. Nassar did is horrible. It’s unthinkable, but please let the criminal justice system do what it is supposed to do, and issue the punishment that he should get.”
While Cunningham later ruled Margraves to be in direct contempt of court, she said she would not impose any fines and agreed to release him from custody, after he spent a few hours in a holding cell.
The judge said she understood that Margraves had heard his daughters reveal details of their abuse he hadn’t known about before, and that he would be so enraged “that any parent would want to do physical harm.”
“I don’t know what it would be like to stand there as a father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in a courtroom. I can’t fathom that,” she said. “It is not acceptable that we combat assault with assault. We have to teach our children and other adults that when people do things that are wrong, and they break the law, we handle that by using legal proceedings to punish them. We cannot and I cannot tolerate or condone vigilantism.”
Margraves apologized to everyone in the courtroom for his outburst.
“I lost control. I apologize 100 times. You have my word I will not be at future proceedings. I didn’t come to proceedings before today. I came solely for the support of my daughters today. I’ve definitely calmed down. I’m embarrassed. I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal,” he said.
Cunningham noted Nassar already has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges, and an additional 40 to 175 years in prison on criminal sexual conduct charges in Ingham County, Michigan. He will face an additional prison term for further sexual assault charges in Eaton County, Michigan, at the end of his latest sentencing hearing.