CHARLOTTE (WWJ/AP) – An Eaton County Judge will not charge the father of three victims of Larry Nassar after he attempted to physically attack Nassar in court Friday morning.
After explaining about contempt of court, Judge Julie Cunningham said she didn’t want anything to happen to Randall Margraves. “This was truly an immediate and emotional reaction of a father,” she said.
Cunningham said a punishment wasn’t appropriate based on the crimes committed by Nassar and the anguish felt by families. But she also says it’s wrong to “combat assault with assault.”
Margraves apologized for his actions.
“I lost control and I apologize, 100 times,” he said.
The attack happened after two of 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.”
Margraves asked the judge if he could have “five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” referring to Nassar. The judge said she could not do that, so Margraves asked for just one minute. When the judge declined again, he ran at Nassar. Deputies had to tackle him.
“I want that son of a bitch,” Margraves shouted. “Give me one minute with that bastard.”
As he was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs, the judge told Margraves his behavior was unacceptable.
“Well you haven’t lived through it, lady,” he shouted back.
Crying could be heard in the courtroom as Nassar was escorted out. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told families in the courtroom to “use your words” and that violence “is not helping your children.”
The judge resumed the hearing after about 25 minutes. She said the pain and suffering endured by Nassar’s victims is “unthinkable,” but that families can’t react with physical violence.
The incident occurred 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.”
Later Friday, Margraves spoke to reporters in Eaton County, again apologizing for his behavior in court, and offered an explanation.
“This morning I got up with full intention to go to work. I was gonna stop by the courthouse for support,” he said. “I knew my daughters were going to make an impact statement; I did not know the content in the impact statement.”
Margraves said he went to the podium to support his girls, and had not intended to speak.
“When I had to hear what was said in those statements, and I have to look over at Larry Nassar, shaking his head…that’s when I lost control,” he said, adding that he is not advocating other people do what he did.
“I feel very remorseful, very apologetic. I was embarrassed.”
More than 30 victims have given statements so far during the hearing, which began Wednesday and is expected to stretch into next week.
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 while he worked with Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. He was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in that case. He had already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.