Thursday, April 15, 2021

Nearly 60 women have come forward with allegations against ex-MSU doctor

December 23, 2016
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to press regarding the arrest and investigation of ex-MSU faculty member Larry Nassar on Nov. 22, 2016 in G. Mennen Williams Building at 525 W. Ottawa St. in Lansing.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to press regarding the arrest and investigation of ex-MSU faculty member Larry Nassar on Nov. 22, 2016 in G. Mennen Williams Building at 525 W. Ottawa St. in Lansing. —
Photo by Derek VanHorn | and Derek VanHorn The State News

MSU is shrouded in a national sexual assault controversy after nearly 60 women have come forward against ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar. That number has grown since the case began to unfold. 

Nassar worked for 29 years with USA Gymnastics and MSU hired him in 1997. 

Following an Indianapolis Star report that stated Nassar had allegedly sexually abused an athlete during a medical examination, Nassar’s employment at MSU was put on hold while investigations began.

“After taking a report of alleged sexual assault against Nassar on Aug. 29, MSUPD detectives immediately began an investigation and notified our administration,” MSU spokesman Jason Cody said in a statement. “Nassar was immediately reassigned from all of his clinical duties.”

Nassar was fired in September following the investigations.

The university stated that in 2014, Nassar had been investigated for similar allegations but the university had found nothing to detract his employment. Still, “certain employment requirements” were put on Nassar’s contract with the university. Cody said the university decided to fire Nassar because he did not follow those requirements.

An NBC News investigation revealed that those “requirements” were that Nassar always has another person in the room while “approaching a patient to perform procedures of anything close to a sensitive nature.”

In November, Nassar was charged with three counts of sexual assault with a person under 13 by the Michigan Attorney General. It had been revealed that Nassar had sexually assaulted a young girl in his home who was not a patient, but a family friend. He was arrested and posted a $1 million bond.

In November Nassar also ran for school board in Holt’s local election. With two spots available and three individuals running, Nassar won 20 percent of the vote and came in third.

Nassar had been out after making bond trial for those charges but was arrested last week following an FBI investigation that found 37,000 images and videos of child pornography on Nassar’s property. It had reportedly been found in a trash can and included some GoPro videos of Nassar molesting children. He was denied bond.

On Wednesday, another victim came forward. Tiffany Lopez, who had been recruited by MSU in the 1990s to play softball, filed a lawsuit against the university alleging that she was assaulted by Nassar more than 10 times during her medical examinations.

As of Dec. 22, MSU still said it has not been served any lawsuits, though on Nov. 29 there was an intent to file claim placed for a lawsuit with the names of 13 anonymous women attached. That intent to file claim alleges that MSU violated Title IX and negligently hired and retained Nassar, among other claims. 

Cody said that more than a dozen investigators from MSUPD’s Special Victim’s Unit are assigned to Nassar’s cases.

“I can tell you we take allegations of sexual abuse very seriously,” Cody said. “Our police, the lead investigative agency in the Nassar case, are devoting significant resources to the criminal investigation against him and are vigorously reviewing all complaints and working through them with the state Attorney General’s office and federal U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

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