Shannon Smith, lawyer for convicted sexual abuser, pedophile, and child pornographer Dr. Larry Nassar, spoke to Detroit radio WWJ950 and reveals she wasn’t just doing her constitutional duty to defend the indefensible. She says she doesn’t actually believe the victims, and doesn’t believe Nassar could possibly be that good of a manipulator. “I just can’t imagine that’s true.” For the record Nassar has disavowed her comments, saying, “I am sorry about this distraction at a time when the attention should be on the statements of these victims."
Host Charlie Langton asked how Smith could defend “a Larry Nassar?” She replied with a medically inaccurate statement saying, “There is a legitimate medical treatment that involves touching sensitive areas and even penetrations...they just feel like they must have been victimized.” Smith is echoing the reactions of the many women who deny the existence of obvious abuse. Like mothers who don’t believe their children, it’s more comforting to believe victims are confused than to acknowledge the reality of abuse.
Smith goes on to defend Nassar’s character. “I think Larry Nassar comes off as a really great person. There is no doubt he did a lot of good...there is undeniably proof that those techniques would take a girl who came into his office unable to walk and fix her in a way that she was able to compete the next day.” The host Charlie Langdon asked her to clarify, “And these would be the Vaginal exams?,” to which Ms. Smith says yes.
These comments may seem shocking coming from a woman, but are they actually unusual? What role do women play among the police who don’t process rape kits, and the prosecutors who question what women were wearing? This victim blaming permeates all levels of society. Seasoned trial lawyers know that average women jurors tend to blame female assault victims out of a subconscious fear of being assaulted themselves. They think victims “must have done something wrong for them to be raped and I must be doing something right so I will never be raped.”
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca