"I try to rationalize why he could think that it was OK to do that," she testified. "I was trying to figure out how it could better me as an athlete, 'cause that was the idea of this massage. And I couldn't figure out like how that could make sense. And I wanted to say something, but I couldn't even open my mouth to say anything."
Later in the trial, John Cottrell, vice president of counseling services for the Grand Rapids YWCA and an expert witness for the prosecution, told the jury about "tonic immobility": "a neurobiological process that essentially paralyzes the body in a defensive way so that pain is not felt and resistance isn't even possible."
Child victims rarely fight back, Cottrell would say. Far more common is for children "to acquiesce, to follow instructions if instructions are given and to endure things pretty much silently."
Eventually Curtis pulled her sports bra back down, covering her. He finished massaging her shoulders, and dropped a bead of sweat on her. Then he reached down and swiped his hand over her crotch, on top of her spandex.
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