Thursday, February 22, 2024

Nassar in the news: Washington Post obtains records, Nassar foundation broke law

April 27, 2017

Doctor at center of USA Gymnastics scandal left warning signs at Michigan State | Washington Post

In a report based on hundreds of pages of records and emails obtained by the Washington Post, MSU missed multiple signals about Larry Nassar and his multiple alleged sexual abuses since his hiring in 1997. 

Two gymnasts complained about Nassar to former MSU head coach Kathie Klages in 1997, but she dismissed the complaints as a misunderstanding, according to court documents. 

In 2014, Klages sent an email to a recruit citing Nassar as a reason to attend MSU. In the email obtained by the Washington Post, Klages wrote “We have Larry Nassar!” and she finished the email with “Enough said about that!” an added a smiley face. 

Then in the early 2000s, a separate lawsuit involving a softball player claimed Nassar improperly touched her, but she was told by MSU trainers Nassar was using a legitimate medical treatment.

The Washington Post reported in 2004, Nassar was questioned by Meridian Township Police and underwent an investigation which didn’t produce a criminal charge. However, they investigation has been re-opened and Meridian Township officials have declined to release any information surrounding the case.

Then at the 2012 London Olympics, Nassar earned a reputation as a top doctor in sports medicine after Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney of the United States gold-winning team, credited Nassar for helping them through injuries.

From emails obtained by the Washington Post, Nassar shared videos of his treatments to the Romanian National Team in order to prepare their athletes for the 2013 European Championships. Then on Sept. 1, Nassar sent an email to William Strampel, the dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, with a subject line, “Earning My Keep,” which asked Strampel to allow Nassar to teach more classes. Strampel did not reply. 

On Sept. 12, 2016, after the Indianapolis Star released a story about Rachael Denhollander, who claimed Nassar sexually assaulted her, Strampel sent an email to Provost June Pierce Youatt, executive vice president for academic affairs. 

In the email obtained by the Washington Post:

“I expect that this will be all over the paper tomorrow … Cherry on the Cake of my day!!!”

In partially redacted emails between Strampel and Nassar, Strampel said, “Things are moving outside of my control,” after a report of an investigation in 2004 was released. A few hours later, a letter with Strampel’s signature was placed in Nassar’s inbox stating his firing from MSU. 

Nassar told police in an interview that he hadn’t followed rules he agreed to in 2014, such as wearing gloves and not touching patients in sensitive areas unless someone else was present in the room. 

Then on Sept. 18 Nassar wrote to Strampel:

“I am so sorry that this situation has been so public in the media casting such a shadow over myself and MSU. I understand your position and appreciate all the support you have given me. My heart is breaking but I will stay strong in my Faith and will the support of my family and my friends I will overcome this.” 

In a letter from Strampel to Brooke Lemmen, a colleague of Nassar, he accused Lemmon of knowing about a 2015 USA Gymnastics investigation involving Nassar, but didn’t tell anyone at MSU.

Strampel received a reply from Lemmen’s lawyer two weeks later, which stated she didn’t know about the investigation, but she knew Olympic officials were reviewing the type of treatment he provided. 

Her lawyer, Aaron Kemp, also said Lemmon was “far from the only” MSU official who knew about the 2015 investigation.  

Kemp couldn’t identify the other MSU officials who knew about the investigation. 

Nassar’s foundation appears to have violated state law since 2014 | The State News | By Brigid Kennedy 

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

In a report by The State News, Nassar’s foundation, the Gymnastics Doctor Autism Foundation, appears to have failed to comply with Michigan law since 2014.

The foundation’s registration with the Michigan Attorney General's office expired in 2014, however it continued fundraising events and solicit donations. 

The State News reports credit card donations for the foundation were being solicited as recently as July 2016. 

Information about the Gymnastics Doctor Autism Foundation is still on, which is reported to be Nassar’s personal website.

The State News reported:

“A representative from the IRS confirmed the foundation was of a class of organizations that are only required to file Form 990-n, called an e-Postcard. E-Postcards are exclusively for organization that makes less than $50,000 per year, and they don’t require public charities to divulge their financial information.”

The IRS website states e-Postcards are meant to ensure potential donors have current information about an organization. 

Nassar's representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment. 


Share and discuss “Nassar in the news: Washington Post obtains records, Nassar foundation broke law” on social media.