Nassar in the news: Judge in case reassigned
Two new lawsuits were filed in federal court in Grand Rapids with a collective total of 17 new plaintiffs. One of the plaintiffs, Lindsey Lemke, is a current MSU gymnast.
Lemke alleges former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages told her that her personal cell phone would be subject to checks to ensure Lemke was not speaking with the media or law enforcement.
Klages, director of sports medicine Jeffrey Kovan, former professor of clinical psychology Gary Stollak and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel were all named as defendants in a suit against Nassar.
The State News reported on March 21 that Nassar contributed a chapter to the book “Principles of Manual Sports Medicine.” His chapter discusses treatments to the pelvic region for gymnastics injuries.
“(The pelvic region) is referred to as the ‘no-fly zone’ because of the many cultural stigmas in touching this area,” Nassar wrote. “However, it is only with thorough examination of the pelvic structures of the gymnast that dysfunction is found and proper treatment can be applied to resolve the symptoms.
”The chapter warns clinicians to take precautions when treating patients’ pelvic regions.
“Take special measures to explain any examinations and techniques applied in this region, including appropriate draping, presence of a chaperone or another clinician, and warning in advance of what you are planning to do.”
Nassar has been accused of failing to follow these procedures, allegedly digitally penetrating patients without warning or explanation and without the presence of a chaperone.
A March 16 motion filed in Denhollander et al v. Michigan State University et al reports that Nassar described the alleged abuse as a “myofascial release” to one plaintiff, and as a “pelvic adjustment” to another.
Nassar’s chapter describes myofascial release as an “appropriate (treatment) for the gymnast,” though the techniques described do not appear to include vaginal or anal penetration.
A motion filed on March 8 in the same lawsuit says Nassar’s alleged sexual abuse was repeatedly described to patients as an appropriate medical procedure.
A 2014 Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives investigation found the treatment was “not of a sexual nature,” and the complainant did not “understand the ‘nuanced difference’ between sexual assault and an appropriate medical procedure.”
Judge Julie O’Neill was removed from Nassar’s case in Eaton County after she “liked” a Facebook post from White Law PLLC.
The post, dated Feb. 14, says that “Nassar’s defense is not strong.”
White is quoted in the post as saying, “we have spent an enormous amount of time trying to find someone inside the medical community to support this and to date we have been unsuccessful.”
An order of disqualification was entered in the case Wednesday after Nassar’s defense attorneys became concerned about O’Neill’s impartiality as judge, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Eaton County District Court has only two judges, so the case will be reassigned to Judge Julie Reincke.
MSU’s Office of Institutional Equity completed a new this week which found that Nassar did sexually assault in 2000. Denhollander is suing MSU for gross negligence and other charges.