Package of Nassar-inspired bills passes in Mich. House
A package of 27 bills inspired by ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's abuse, which is aimed at preventing child sexual abuse and punishing predators, passed in the Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday.
The package of bills, passed earlier this year in the Senate and recently modified by the House committee, is meant to ensure that survivors of sexual assault have more access to courts to deal with past incidents. They would also hope to ensure that widespread abuse similar to Nassar's doesn't happen again.
One of the bills included in the package would extend the statute of limitations to sue a predator civilly to those abused by a doctor under the appearance of medical treatment and the predator was convicted of a crime, meaning only the survivors of Nassar's abuse can sue retroactively.
Another bill would increase the list of mandatory reporters to include physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and athletic trainers.
Coaches, however, are not included on the list of mandatory reporters, something the bill originally contained until it was amended by the House committee.
State Rep. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor, was critical of the bill, expressing that the survivors told their coaches about Nassar's abuse.
Also included in the package is a bill that would make it a crime for coaches to use their authority position to prevent someone from reporting sexual assault or abuse.
Three bills that would eliminate governmental immunity for public employees in cases of sexual misconduct passed in the Senate, but did not have support in the House to be voted on.
All of the bills passed with large majorities.
Bills in the entire package would:
- Expand statute of limitations from three to 10 years for criminal sexual assault and 10 years to file a civil suit.
- Allow childhood sexual assault survivors to sue until they are 28 years old.
- Require education on sexual assault and abuse in grades 6 - 12.
- Increase penalties for the possession and distribution of child pornography.
- Make it a crime to persuade someone to not report an incident of sexual assault.
- Allow the governor to remove trustees at the state's three universities in which boards are elected, including Wayne and Michigan state universities and the University of Michigan.
- Expand the list of mandatory reporters to physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and athletic trainers.
- Increase penalties for those who do not report sexual misconduct.
- Require consent from patients who receive invasive medical procedures, which would make sexual assault under the appearance of medical treatment a crime.