Attorney General calls for release of internal investigation results
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sent a letter to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon Monday calling for the release of an internal investigation that looks into ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's work and impact at MSU.
In his letter, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said the findings of the investigation critical to understanding what responsibilities other people may have had regarding Nassar's criminal conduct.
"Releasing the findings to the proper law enforcement authorities, such as the FBI, Michigan State Police, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, is essential to ensure that a complete and thorough investigation into Mr. Nassar's actions is conducted," Schuette wrote in his letter. "And, an analysis of the findings by law enforcement is needed to ensure justice for the victims of Mr. Nassar."
In response to the letter, MSU spokesperson Jason Cody has said MSU's general counsel will review the letter. Request for updated comment was not returned at the time of publication.
MSU has previously said the internal investigation was never designed to result in a report, but was designed to result in what they are referring to as "an action-oriented review."
Nassar is accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls, ranging from local gymnasts to Olympic athletes, under the guise of medical treatment.
The Michigan Attorney General's Office is currently prosecuting Nassar for 10 first degree criminal sexual conduct charges in the state of Michigan — seven in Ingham County and three in Eaton County — to which he has pleaded guilty. His sentence hearings for each of these charges could result in a minimum of 25-40 years to life in prison per charge, and are scheduled for Jan. 12 and Jan. 31.
He was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography to which he pleaded guilty. His sentencing for the receipt, possession and destruction of child pornography is set for Dec. 7 in federal court.
The investigation is being conducted through the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates and is being led by Patrick Fitzgerald, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois who is now with the law firm.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is also currently representing MSU in civil cases. In these lawsuits, MSU and the MSU Board of Trustees are listed as defendants alongside Nassar, USA Gymnastics and others.
The Michigan Attorney General's Office isn't the first to call for the release of this internal report. Survivors of Nassar's abuse and their attorneys also called for its release following Nassar's plea hearing on Nov. 22.
"This behavior was enabled, and MSU needs to be transparent," Larissa Boyce, who first attached her name to allegations of abuse in March, said. "If [MSU is] saying that they are creating a cultural change on campus, they need to be transparent about it and release the internal investigation. They need to hold people accountable and responsible for enabling this. That would give it a little bit of integrity."
The State News Editorial Board also called for the investigation's release in an editorial published Dec. 1.
"We all deserve to know exactly how the abuse happened and how the university was or was not involved," The State News Editorial Board wrote. "Releasing information and reports might not paint the whole picture, but it might bring us a step closer. Most importantly, they might bring Nassar’s victims one step closer to moving on."
Stay with The State News for coverage of Nassar's sentencing on Thursday. Additional coverage can be found at The State News website in our 'Larry Nassar Coverage' tab.