Nassar in the News: Nassar pleads guilty, Maroney won't testify
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 more than 140 women and girls, ranging from local gymnasts to Olympic athletes, 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 pleaded guilty. His sentencing for the receipt, possession and destruction of child pornography is set for Dec. 7 in federal court.
Nassar pleaded guilty to a total of 10 first degree criminal sexual conduct charges in county cases in November 2017 — seven in Ingham County and three in Eaton County. His sentencing for each of these charges could range from a minimum of 25-40 years to life in prison. The Ingham County sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 12 and the Eaton County sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 31.
Nassar is also a defendant in nine lawsuits, all of which also list MSU, MSU's board of trustees and USA Gymnastics as defendants.
And now, for the news you might have missed, in order from most to least recent:
Editorial: MSU must release Nassar investigation reports | The State News | Dec. 1, 2017
The State News Editorial Board called for MSU to release any and all findings of the internal investigation into Nassar's role at MSU.
The call for action follows Nassar's plea deals in Ingham and Eaton County. It also follows calls for information and transparency at MSU from survivors and their attorneys.
"For the survivors of Nassar’s abuse and for their own integrity, MSU should go beyond strengthening policy. MSU needs to release any and all reports from investigations into Nassar and his role at MSU. Nassar’s actions and abuse of power require complete and total transparency," The State News Editorial Board wrote.
Feds say Nassar should get 60 years in child pornography charges | Lansing State Journal | Dec. 1, 2017
The U.S. Attorney General's Office has said that Nassar should spend 60 years in prison for charges linked to child pornography.
Nassar previously pleaded guilty to those charges. His sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Nassar's attorneys said in a filing that Nassar "has and will use his experiences – both good and bad – to make positive changes in his life" and they asked U.S. District Judge Janet Neff to vary Nassar's sentencing guidelines, which are currently set at 22 to 27 years in prison.
Olympic gymnast, other victims won't testify at doctor's sentencing | The Orange County Register | Nov. 30, 2017
The U.S. District Court judge for Nassar's federal sentencing denied a motion to allow survivors, including Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, of Nassar's abuse to testify at his hearing Wednesday for child pornography charges.
The judge for the case denied the motion, saying, “The Court’s concern in regard, indeed obligation is that we do not lose sight of the many other countless and perhaps unknown victims of Defendant’s conduct underlying the federal charges.”
The judge also said the motion's denial is in no way a means to deny the victims of a voice.
Nassar pleads guilty to three more counts of criminal sexual conduct | The State News | Nov. 29, 2017
Nassar pleaded guilty to three more counts of criminal sexual misconduct of the first degree in Eaton County. Nassar's sentencing for these charges will be held Jan. 31. Survivors of abuse will be allowed to speak before the sentencing.
As part of the plea deal he entered, Nassar agreed to a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. His sentencing will be subject to the court. Nassar will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring Michigan's registered sex offender laws.
In addition, the remaining counts in his Eaton County case will be dismissed. The Michigan Attorney General's office will also no longer prosecute any other charges or child pornography not part of the federal criminal case.
Nassar pleads guilty to 3 more sexual assault charges | Lansing State Journal | Nov. 29, 2017
The five law firms hired by MSU to work on lawsuits and internal investigations related to Nassar have billed MSU for $5.3 million for a total of 8,521 hours worked.
"The university's most-expensive law firm — Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — is charging MSU rates as high as $990 per hour for each of three attorneys, with lower rates for several others," Lansing State Journal reported. "That law firm billed MSU $521,760 for work performed in August, and $264,371 for work performed in July, records show. In all, the law firm has billed MSU for more than $3.5 million, but that doesn't include work performed in September, October or November."
The law firm MSU has hired to handle insurance matters has billed $1 million since June.
Did Michigan State look the other way? | Inside Higher Ed | Nov. 27, 2017
While MSU has condemned Nassar, some of the women who were sexually abused by Nassar and their attorneys claim MSU either covered up allegations or ignored them, thus enabling the abuse to continue for decades.
Survivors and their attorneys have called on MSU to release the findings of an investigation that looked into Nassar's role at the university, and they say the fact that MSU has not done so "compares unfavorably with the way Penn State released the results of outside investigations it commissioned on the Sandusky scandal."
Ex-MSU head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages is accused of enabling the sexual abuse as well. She was suspended by the university in February and retired the next day.
Nassar victims respond to plea deal, call for change at MSU | The State News | Nov. 22, 2017
In response to Nassar's plea deal, survivors of Nassar's abuse and their attorneys are calling for change and transparency at MSU, starting with the release of an internal review into Nassar's role at MSU.
Jessica Smith, now 23, was a dancer and patient of Nassar's at his MSU clinic in 2012. Smith, who had accused Nassar of sexual abuse, said she does not feel as though she can heal completely until the internal information is out and she knows that MSU didn't cover anything up.
MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said via email that MSU denies accusations of a "cover-up" and that MSU would have informed law enforcement if any employee knew of and acquiesced in Nassar's misconduct.
"The FBI and MSU Police Department conducted a joint investigation earlier this year to determine whether any university employee other than Nassar engaged in criminal conduct," Cody said via email. "The results of that investigation were sent to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. We have no reason to believe that any criminal conduct was found."
Nassar pleads guilty to 7 counts of criminal sexual misconduct | The State News | Nov. 22, 2017
Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct of the first degree in Ingham County. Nassar's sentencing for these charges will be held Jan. 12. It will last all day and, if necessary, continue on Jan. 19. Survivors of abuse will be allowed to speak before the sentencing.
As part of the plea deal he entered, Nassar agreed to a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. His sentencing will be subject to the court. Nassar will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring and Michigan's registered sex offender laws.
In addition, the remaining counts in his Ingham County case will be dismissed. The Michigan Attorney General's office will also no longer prosecute cases reported to MSUPD, which is a total of 115 cases.
"I want them to heal," Nassar said in his first public statement on the abuse. "I want this community to heal. I have no animosity towards anyone, I just want healing. It's time. So I guess that's the biggest thing. We need to move forward in the sense of growth and healing and I pray for that."
In response to Nassar's statement, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar abused the trust his patients had for him.
"I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars," Aquilina said.
Gabby Douglas apologizes for Nassar comments, alleges abuse | The State News | Nov. 22, 2017
Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas alluded to experiencing abuse by Nassar in an Instagram post. Her publicist later confirmed that, yes, Douglas is alleging sexual abuse by Nassar.
Also in the post, Douglas reiterated an apology for writing on Twitter that women should "dress modestly and be classy" to avoid sexual misconduct.
"I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful," Douglas wrote.
Douglas is the third member of the 'Fierce Five,' the American gymnastics team that won gold in the 2012 Olympics, to accuse Nassar of sexual abuse — McKayla Maroney first came forward with allegations on Oct. 18 and Aly Raisman came forward Nov. 10.
Stay with The State News for more coverage of Larry Nassar, his cases and MSU's responses.