On February 2nd, some random guy named Aaron Pangborn started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for legal fees for Randall Margraves, the father whose three daughters were abused by convicted kid-toucher and former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Margraves lunged at Nassar at a court hearing in Eaton County, at which Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct.
“Please help support Randall Margraves,” initially read the campaign. “This is the official Go Fund Me page to help a brother and friend in need. Thanks.”
See, here’s the thing. It was never official at all. In fact, after the campaign took off Margraves’ lawyer Mick Grewel requested it be taken down as it was never authorized by his client, it was just some random guy who Margraves didn’t know purporting to raise money on his behalf. It raised $31,211 before it was closed to new donations.
Additionally, Margraves did not face any legal trouble after the incident and therefore didn’t need any kind of monetary legal defense support. Although he was taken into custody and held in contempt of court, Judge Janice Cunningham released him after he apologized for his completely understandable outburst. I mean, he wanted to choke out the guy who molested his three daughters, of course he was mad.
This morning, Margraves and IBEW 665 issued a joint statement regarding the outcome of the funds raised. “While Randy deeply appreciates the outpouring of support, he says it is not needed for him. This situation has demonstrated the strength of the bond among our union brothers and sisters…we’re glad to see the money going to organizations that help survivors of abuse.”
It seems when the campaign organizer said Margraves was “a brother,” he meant in the sense of a fellow union member.
“At the time of the incident, I didn’t know that the great brotherhood had done this, and I was overcome with gratitude when I found out,” Margraves said in the statement. “I appreciate everyone stepping up to support me, but help is not needed for me.”
Donors to the campaign can request a refund up until March 9. Meanwhile, GoFundMe says it is working with the campaign organizer to make sure the remaining funds get to an appropriate charity.