By SHERI GASSAWAY
Charlotte, MI – A GoFundMe page created to help the IBEW Local 665 dad who lunged at convicted sex abuser Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom Feb. 2 raised almost $35,000 in just two days.
Randall Margraves, the father of three daughters who said they were molested by the former sports doctor, asked the judge to grant him “five minutes in a locked room with the demon.” He made the request after two of his daughters finished giving victim impact statements against Nassar.
The judge declined, and he asked, “Would you give me one minute?” She again said no, adding, “That’s not how our legal system works.”
“Well I’m going to have to,” Margraves said as he sprinted across the courtroom toward Nassar, where he was blocked by Nassar’s attorney and tackled by sheriff’s deputies.
UNION BROTHER STEPS IN TO HELP
It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to Margraves. Video of the incident was shared across social medial and IBEW 665 Assistant Business Manager Aaron Pangborn set up a GoFundMe page asking for support to help a union “brother and friend in need.”
Pangborn set a goal of raising $1,000. The fund raised $34,411 before Eaton County Judge Janice Cunningham announced there was “no way” she would fine Margraves or send him to jail.
When Pangborn learned that Margraves would not be facing any charges in the incident, he stopped taking donations and thanked everyone for their support. He said he was shocked by the outpouring of support.
MONEY TO HELP VICTIMS
“I initially started this GoFundMe campaign as way to help cover any legal and court costs that Randy may have after this morning’s news,” Pangborn wrote on the GofundMe page.
“I will work with him and his family to ensure the funds collected will go to a good cause to help victims of sexual abuse,” he added.
Margraves, 58, later apologized in court, saying he had snapped.
“I’m definitely calmed down,” he said. “I’m embarrassed. I’m not here to upstage my daughters. I’m here to help them heal.”
The incident occurred during the third and final sentencing hearing for Nassar, who admitted to sexually assaulting girls under the guise of medical treatment during his decades of work at Michigan State, Twistars and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. More than 200 accusers have spoken or submitted statements.
Nassar, 54, will spend the rest of his life in prison. He was sentenced last week to 40 to 175 years in prison for assaults at Michigan State University and his home and was ordered in December to spend 60 years in a federal prison for child pornography crimes.
‘I’M NO HERO’
Margraves lunged at Nassar after listening to two of his daughters speak in court. Lauren Margraves, a college student, said her parents were “filled with regret” because they took their three daughters to see Nassar for sports injuries.
“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.”
At a later news conference, Margraves repeated his apology and insisted he’s “no hero.”
“My daughters are the heroes, and all the victims and the survivors of this terrible atrocity,” he said.
(Information from CNN and NBC News and the Associated Press.)