Unauthorized GoFundMe for dad who rushed Larry Nassar suspends donations

  • Eric Lacy
  • Lansing State Journal
3:05 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 Atlanta News

The GoFundMe online fundraiser set up for Randall Margraves, father of three daughters who gave victim-impact statements saying Nassar sexually assaulted them, had raised $31,311 from 917 donors over a two-day span that began Friday.         

But the fundraiser's organizer, Lansing, Mich., resident Aaron Pangborn, decided Saturday to suspend donations to the campaign, said Bart Jackson, a GoFundMe spokesman.         

"We are working with (Pangborn) to ensure donations go to the right place," Jackson said in an email Monday. Jackson added that if a donor requests a refund they will receive it "in full."         

Margraves said Friday in a news conference he doesn't want the money raised online. Mick Grewal, Margraves' attorney, asked for the GoFundMe website to be taken down because it wasn't authorized by his client.          

Pangborn could not be reached for comment. 

People who donated to the "Show support for Randall Margraves" GoFundMe campaign can request refunds at support.gofundme.com.          

Margraves apologized in Friday's news conference for trying to attack Nassar in the courtroom in Charlotte, Mich., earlier in the day. He added "I'm no hero. My daughters are the heroes."

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Nassar, 54, formerly of Holt, Mich., was sentenced Monday in Eaton County (Mich.) Circuit Court to 40 to 125 years in prison on three sexual assault charges. He was sentenced last month to 40 to 175 years on seven sexual assault charges in Ingham County, Mich., and in December, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison on three federal child pornography charges.          

Nassar was the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. More than 260 women and girls have made sexual assault claims against him.         

Pangborn's original goal, according to the message, was to raise money to help Margraves cover "any legal and court costs."

On Saturday, Pangborn posted a message on the fundraising website that said all donations will support "a good cause to help victims of sexual abuse."         

Margraves rushed Nassar on Friday morning after two of his three daughters gave victim-impact statements in Eaton County Circuit Judge Janice Cunningham's courtroom.          

As Margraves ran toward Nassar, he was tackled and handcuffed by police. 

Margraves was held in contempt of court and in police custody for about two hours. Cunningham released Margraves from custody after he apologized for the incident.          

The Eaton County Sheriff's Department had not determined whether it will recommend to prosecutors any criminal charges for Margraves, said Jerri Nesbitt, a department spokeswoman.          

An Indianapolis Star investigation of USA Gymnastics, begun in 2016, uncovered widespread sexual abuse of athletes by coaches and others and failures to alert authorities. The IndyStar, part of the USA Today Network, revealed the first allegations of abuse by Nassar and triggered a criminal prosecution that led to his imprisonment.