First woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault, w - WDRB 41 Louisville News

First woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault, who lives in Louisville, honored on the Kentucky Senate floor

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State Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville recognized Rachael Denhollander on the Senate floor. State Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville recognized Rachael Denhollander on the Senate floor.
Rachael Denhollander was the first to come forward and tell the story of how her innocence was stolen Rachael Denhollander was the first to come forward and tell the story of how her innocence was stolen

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fresh off of Larry Nassar's sentencing and reliving an emotional roller coaster, Rachael Denhollander was back in her Kentucky home Thursday.

The former gymnast has lived in Louisville for the past five years. It's where her husband goes to school.

"He's currently in the Ph.D. program at Southern Baptist Theological seminary," she said.

On Thursday, she made the 50 minute trip along I-64 to Frankfort. State Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville recognized Denhollander on the Senate floor.

"Rachael is a truly amazing young woman," McGarvey said. "I stand in complete admiration of her courage."

He also filed a resolution honoring her bravery and for bringing national attention to sexual assault.

"It gives me a lot of hope for being able to work in what is now my home state, to be able to work with lawmakers toward legislative reform to make Kentucky a safer place for children," Denhollander said.

Denhollander was the first to come forward and tell the story of how her innocence was stolen. She said as an Olympic and Michigan State University doctor, Nassar engaged in humiliating sex acts without her permission. Over 150 victims would follow with similar stories. 

"I'm just incredibly grateful for where we are," Denhollander said. "To have everyone's voices heard is a gift that not many survivors get."

Nasser was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. 

"Larry will never be able to hurt anyone again," Denhollander.said. "That was the motivation and the goal. I do believe justice has been done," 

Denhollander's mission is far from over. She's working to get what she calls better legislation to protect girls, both in Michigan and on the federal level.

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