At his sentencing trial in January, more than 150 women testified against disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and he subsequently received a sentence of up to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse. Nassar’s long overdue downfall was set in motion by Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse him of sexual assault. Now, Denhollander has welcomed a new child, who she named after the detective that helped her expose him.
CNN reported that the 33-year-old gave birth to her fourth child, a girl, on July 20th. Denhollander named the baby Elora Renee Joy in a tribute to the Michigan State University Detective Lt. Andrea Renee Munford. Denhollander explained the meaning of her daughter’s name in a tweet on July 20th.
Former Michigan Attorney General Angela Povilaitis, who prosecuted Nassar, replied to Hollander’s post saying that she had shared it with Munford, who doesn’t have a Twitter account.
“I have such happy tears right now,” Povilaitis wrote. “What a beautiful & perfect name!”
Denhollander’s account of Nassar’s abuse was first reported by the Indianapolis Star in 2016. According to the article in the Star, Nassar sexually assaulted Hollander in 2000, when she was a 15-year-old gymnast seeking treatment for lower back pain. The Lansing State Journal notes that she was the last woman to testify against Nassar during his trial.
According to an April report from the State Journal, Denhollander first reported Nassar’s abuse to Munford. Povilaitis joined the investigation later, when the growing number of reports against Nassar led the attorney general’s office to take on the case. In an April tweet, Denhollander, now a lawyer herself, shared the report, calling it her “favorite article.” She referred to the two women as “heroes long before the media attention, fighting for those with no voice and little strength left.”
We can’t think of a more fitting tribute for Munford and her legacy.