On the morning of September 20, 2016, ten police officers show up at Larry Nassar’s home with a search warrant.
An officer notices that a brown trash bin at the end of Larry’s driveway is still full. By sheer chance, the garbage truck was running late that day.
The officer dumps Larry’s trash in the back of a police pickup truck.
When they get it back to the station, officers comb through Larry’s garbage, where they find a little plastic grocery bag that’s filled with what looks like bathroom trash — q-tips, face wipes, Kleenex…and three external hard drives. Two of the drives have “Larry Nassar” written right on them.
Police discover 37,000 images of child pornography on those hard drives.
Later, Trinea Gonczar gets a phone call from a law enforcement official. Trinea says she remembers the person saying: “We can’t tell you if it’s you, but there were images of little girls in his bathtub.”
Trinea was stunned.
You met Trinea in Episode One. Larry had treated her gymnastics injuries for decades — and she trusted him, without question. And when you love someone, trust them completely, and then discover something that makes you question if you ever really knew them at all, it can be difficult to accept the truth.
When Trinea and her mom, Dawn Homer, saw that very first article about Larry in 2016, the one with Rachael Denhollander, they were devastated to see him accused. But Trinea says, “I honestly thought he’s got enough doctors on his side. Someone’s going to come forward and clear him, like someone’s going to explain that this treatment is legitimate.”
It’s not that they don’t believe Rachael, exactly. It’s more like, they’ve seen this play out before. Someone accuses Larry, but then it’s declared a misunderstanding, and everything’s fine again.
Like in 2004, with Brianne Randall. Or 2014, with Amanda Thomashow.
Each time Larry was believed instead of his accusers, Trinea’s trust in Larry was reaffirmed: it is legitimate treatment, she thought. Poor guy is just misunderstood.
So when Trinea saw Rachael’s story in the IndyStar in 2016, she was sad. Sad for Larry. Sad for his wife, Stefanie, and their kids.
“And I felt really bad for our gym, you know, all these people that love this person, like so much love for him,” she says.
In the fall of 2016, Larry was arrested for criminal sexual conduct.
Even then, Dawn says, she and Trinea still could not believe that Larry would hurt anyone. Not intentionally.
“This isn’t the Larry we knew,” says Dawn. “This isn’t the Larry we loved.”
Believing the truth about Larry was gradual for Trinea. A process with a few key moments.
The first was on her birthday in December 2016. The same day the federal government charged Larry Nassar with receiving and possessing child pornography.