Pets

At Larry Nassar Trial, Sweet Therapy Dog Gave Comfort to Victims Who Testified in Court

A therapy dog was brought in to provide comfort for Dr. Larry Nassar’s dozens of victims as they told their stories in court, before he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, Inside Edition reports.

As more than 100 women testified about the disgraced Olympic doctor’s abuse, Preston lingered outside the Michigan courtroom for most of the trial.

“I have two dogs at home, so for me, it was really comforting,” Samantha Ursch told Inside Edition.

Ursch was one of the many women who flew to Michigan to testify about the abuse she suffered as a gymnast as Central Michigan University, where Nassar was a team doctor.

“I was very nervous getting ready to go up and testify,” she said. “Getting up and having everyone hear my story and what occurred, as well as confronting him and being in front of him again [was] pretty terrifying.”

Preston helped comfort some of the women.

“It’s a really difficult day for everyone involved,” Preston’s handler Ashley Vance told Inside Edition. “It’s just an opportunity to have a little bit of a distraction, to get their minds off things for however short it may be.”

Preston even wore a puppy tie, which Ashley says tells him he’s at work.

Ashley said the attorney general’s office asked her organization to bring the therapy dog.

“They have their support people in there but sometimes they need the added level of support,” she said. “They are traveling really far distances and leaving their family and pets behind, so I think it is just a great sense of comfort for them to have something available like a pet.”