Standing in a Michigan courtroom, his daughters’ convicted sexual abuser just metres away, Randall Margraves addressed the judge.
“Judge, would a pissed off father have a chance to say something?… I would ask you, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” he said. “Would you do that?”
That ‘demon’ is Larry Nassar, the former USA Olympics gymnastics doctor, who has already been sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison for molesting young women under the guise of medical treatment.
Like nearly 200 women before them, two of Margraves’ daughters, Lauren and Madison, stood up during Nassar’s sentencing to detail the lasting impact his abuse had on their lives. But hearing their statements proved overwhelming for the father.
Watch the footage of the incident below:
“Would you give me one minute?” he said, seething. When Judge Janice Cunningham declined, he lunged forward toward the 54-year-old. “Well, I’m going to have to…”
As Margraves’ shocked daughter pleaded – “Stop. Dad!” – police tackled him to the ground, before he could reach the prisoner. Yet, pinned down, his hands cuffed behind his back, still the father appealed for the chance to exact his own justice – “Just one minute!” he shouted at officers. “What if this happened to you guys?”
Margraves later returned to the courtroom to apologise for his “outburst”, and said he had “utmost respect for the justice system”.
“I came here to support my daughters, I knew they were going to read a statement, I did not know what was in it, they would not let me see it ahead of time. I’ve got to hear that and have Larry Nassar shaking his head no, like it didn’t happen,” Margraves said.
“I lost control I apologise 100 times.”
Margraves' third daughter, Morgan, was among 150-plus survivors who spoke during Nassar's prior hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court, which ended on January 28 with his 40 to 175-year sentence.
The current hearing in Eaton County will hear from more than 60 additional women and girls who have accused the the disgraced doctor of sexual misconduct.
In a statement quoted by ABC, Judge Cunningham said that, given the circumstances of the case, there was "no way" the court would punish Margraves for his behaviour.
"I can’t say I understand what it would be like to stand there as father and know that three of your girls were injured physically and emotionally by somebody sitting in the room," Judge Cunningham said.
"I don’t disagree that as a parent and the victims that you want people held accountable. I don’t disagree with that. Use the legal system to do it. Use the system of justice that is here. And there will be the proper punishment."
Nassar is currently serving 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges, after being sentenced in December 2017.