Nassar in the News: Mediation period extended, Raisman speaks out
The impact of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar extends beyond MSU, and its coverage spans internationally. Catch up with the Nassar-related news you may have missed below. For more information, select the links to be directed to the original articles.
Nassar is accused of sexually abusing over 140 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. He was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography to which he has pleaded guilty. His sentencing for these charges is set for Dec. 7.
Nassar additionally faces criminal sexual assault charges in Ingham County and Eaton County. Trials for these charges will begin in early 2018. He is also a defendant in nine lawsuits alongside MSU, MSU's Board of Trustees and USA Gymnastics.
And now, for the news you might have missed, in order from most to least recent:
Nassar Facebook profile shows support for Paterno | The State News | Nov. 16, 2017
When ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was active on Facebook, he was a part of an "I Support Coach Joe Paterno" Facebook group.
Paterno was the head coach of Penn State's football team from 1966 to 2011. He was terminated from his position following a 2012 investigation that found Paterno knew about and covered up Penn State's former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys. Sandusky was charged and convicted on 45 counts of child molestation.
Nassar's Facebook account is listed as one of 344 members in the "I Support Joe Paterno" group. The account hasn't been active recently — the last post in the group was on March 24 — but the links and articles posted have all related back to the Sandusky case and the idea that Paterno wasn't involved or aware of the abuse.
Although Nassar's Facebook has been wiped clean of posts, photos, friends and other information, traces of activity can still be found.
Nassar has been tagged in a number of posts and photos, and many of these posts from years ago include positive testimonies.
"He is the VERY best doctor, as well as the kindest, most giving, and thoughtful person you will ever meet," one comment reads.
Nassar expected to plead guilty to county charges | The State News | Nov. 15, 2017
Ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is expected to plead guilty to 22 counts of criminal sexual conduct of the first degree in Ingham and Eaton counties.
In Ingham County, a plea hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 22, according to court documents. The hearing will take place in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom.
In Eaton County, a plea hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 29, according to court documents.
Multiple criminal sexual conduct charges against Nassar in Ingham County court allegedly took place at MSU.
"While it is not appropriate for the university to comment on reports of a plea deal, MSU from the beginning has sought justice in the Larry Nassar case," MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said in a statement via email. "As the state and federal criminal charges facing Nassar show, his behavior was deeply disturbing and repugnant, and the responsibility for his actions is his alone. It was through the hard and diligent work of the MSU Police Department that Nassar is being brought to justice."
Jury selection for Nassar's Ingham County case is set to start Dec. 4. In addition to Nassar's Ingham County charges, he also faces seven charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County Circuit Court. His Eaton County trial isn't expected to begin until his Ingham trial is completed.
Mediation period for Nassar suits to be extended | The State News | Nov. 14, 2017
The mediation period for lawsuits related to alleged sexual abuse by ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar will be extended until Dec. 6.
Attorneys representing alleged victims and all defendants except USA Gymnastics filed a stipulation to extend the stay of proceedings Nov. 7. In the stipulation, both parties sought to extend the mediation period an additional 30 days to "promote efficient use of judicial resources without prejudicing any of the parties."
"Although the parties still have significant work to do if they are to reach a consensual resolution of these matters, substantial progress was made during the mediation," the mediator for the lawsuits, Jon Muth, wrote. "In my view, the parties would benefit from an additional 30-day stay of litigation so that they can focus their efforts on continued mediation discussions."
The attorneys involved in these nine lawsuits are hoping to reach a settlement during this mediation period.
Four Powerful #MeToo Stories Take Center Stage at the 'Glamour' Women of the Year Awards | Glamour | Nov. 13, 2017
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman joined three other women onstage at the 'Glamour' Women of the Year Awards to talk about their experiences with sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse amidst the #MeToo movement.
Raisman talked about her alleged abuse by Nassar and said she is "beyond disgusted" that Nassar was able to prey upon women and girls for so long, and she called for others to show concern and compassion for survivors of abuse.
"Until we fully understand the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen in the first place—and enabled it to continue for decades—we can’t be confident it won’t happen again," Raisman said. "We need more than optimistic assurances. We need answers."
Here's how Aly Raisman described her experience with Dr. Larry Nassar in her new book | The Boston Globe | Nov. 12, 2017
Raisman's new book, "Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything," contains a chapter that details her interactions with Nassar.
She writes that a USA Gymnastics staff member encouraged her to see Nassar when she was 15 years old. The staffer said meeting with Nassar was an honor and that Nassar was "the best there is."
Raisman does not go into specifics about the treatments she received, but she wrote that other doctors she would see wore gloves and made sure to cover her hips and backside during treatments.
“It was different with Larry. I would lie on the table, my hands involuntarily balling themselves into fists as his ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing. ‘Treatment sessions’ with him always made me feel tense and uncomfortable," she wrote. “Who was I, a mere teenager with no medical training, to say any different, or to question his methods?”
Raisman wrote that Nassar would sometimes close his eyes or seem out of breath when he worked on her, but said she would "make excuses for him" — "I felt guilty for thinking badly of someone everyone else liked," she wrote.
She also writes that a coach overheard comments she and her teammates made about Nassar while training and reported their remarks to USA Gymnastics.
An investigator visited Raisman in July 2015. Following the meeting with the investigator, Raisman was told by USA Gymnastics she "needed to stop speaking about Larry."
"We had been so manipulated," she wrote. "It had all been intentional. He had taken advantage of me ... I wanted to throw up. Realizing you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse is a horrible, sickening feeling. If a sexual predator is committing assault, the unfortunate reality is that it might not be their first time, and probably isn’t their last."
Aly Raisman accuses Nassar of sexual abuse | The State News | Nov. 10, 2017
Raisman, one of the biggest names in the sport of gymnastics, accused Nassar of sexual abuse. She's the highest-profile gymnast to come forward with allegations.
Raisman said she was 15 when she was first treated by Nassar. She's now 23.
"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up?" Raisman told 60 Minutes. "Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?"
In August, Raisman criticized USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for how they have responded to the sexual abuse crisis. She said she feels as though the organizations were more concerned with protecting their image and protecting themselves legally than with preventing abuse in the future.
"I am angry," Raisman said. "I'm really upset because it's been — I care a lot you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, I just — I can't — every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think —I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this."
USA Gymnastics names Kerry J. Perry as new president and CEO | USA Gymnastics | Nov. 7, 2017
The USA Gymnastics Board of Directors announced Kerry J. Perry as the new president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. Perry will start in her new position Dec. 1.
Perry's appointment follows former president and CEO Steve Penny's resignation amidst controversy surrounding Nassar.
Perry will be tasked with the strategic direction of safety initiatives, athlete and competitive programs, staffing, communications, revenue generation, event operations, marketing and membership and she will represent USA Gymnastics within the United States Olympic Committee and the International Gymnastics Federation.
Previously, Perry was at Learfield Communications, Inc. as vice president of business development. She was also president and owner of KP Sports.
“I am thrilled to join USA Gymnastics and I look forward to creating a culture of empowerment that encourages our athletes, our members, our families and our staff to have a strong voice as we move this incredible organization to heightened levels of achievement,” Perry said. “As a lifelong fan of the sport, I will be relentless in our pursuit of athlete safety, collaborative with our board, constituents and corporate partners, and supportive of our members, parents and staff on our journey to making USA Gymnastics the pinnacle of success.”
Stay with The State News for more coverage of Larry Nassar, his cases and MSU's responses.