Nassar in the News: 60-year sentence, calls for Simon to resign
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.
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. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the receipt, possession and destruction of child pornography.
Nassar pleaded guilty to a total of 10 first degree criminal sexual conduct charges 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:
The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board called for MSU to become more transparent in its internal investigations into the university’s role in Nassar’s abuse.
The editorial argued MSU’s refusal to release the results of an internal investigation is indicative of the university’s intention to conceal wrongdoing from the public to prevent further legal action.
State House Speaker Tom Leonard, a candidate for Michigan Attorney General, wrote in a Facebook post that MSU’s refusal to release a report on the findings of the internal investigation into Nassar’s abuse at MSU “is outrageous and absolutely reprehensible.”
Leonard additionally called for President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign and asked for investigations into MSU’s handling of the case by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, the Michigan State Police and the Attorney General.
The editorial called for MSU to issue an apology to survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse and said that the statement that has already been released reflects “institutional indifference.”
The Editorial Board argued that MSU’s position as a public university should require it to operate with greater transparency than it currently does.
An attorney for MSU has said that the university cannot release results of an internal investigation into Nassar’s misconduct because no report is being compiled.
Representatives of MSU said that there was no evidence of wrongdoing from anyone connected with the university other than Nassar himself.
“We’ve got MSU investigating itself here. It’s unacceptable,” former Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer said.
Nassar received the maximum sentence, 60 years, in his federal trial for three charges related to child pornography.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff said she viewed the images found on his computer and it was unlike anything she’s seen in her 10 years on the job.
“I’ve been battling with this for a considerable amount of time,” Nassar said in a statement at the trial. “I tried to be a good person.”
After a judge ruled that survivors would not testify at Nassar’s federal child pornography trial, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman released a statement reflecting on her experiences with Nassar.
“I am not a victim,” Raisman wrote. “I am a survivor. The abuse does not define me, or anyone else who has been abused.”
Raisman called for an overhaul of the systems that enabled Nassar, including USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and MSU.
Five survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse spoke in a press conference after he was sentenced to 60 years in his federal child pornography case in Grand Rapids.
The survivors expressed disappointment in MSU’s failure to enforce mandatory reporting procedures.
“The disturbing truth about that is he could have been stopped over 20 years ago, when I brought the concerns about his medical practices to the head gymnastics coach,” survivor Larissa Boyce said.
MSU denied involvement in any sort of cover-up, but survivor Alexis Alvarado said MSU is as guilty as Nassar.
A Lansing State Journal editorial called for MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign for failure to keep women safe from sexual assault and harassment on campus.
MSU’s board of trustees “disagree vehemently” with the editorial’s conclusions, according to a statement they released on the same day in response to the editorial.
“Our full confidence in President Lou Anna K. Simon has not wavered,” the statement said. “We firmly believe she is the right leader for this university.”
Michigan lawmakers met with survivors Rachael Denhollander and Sterling Riethman to discuss reforming Michigan law and sexual assault prevention in Michigan.
“It is important that our laws protect those who are most vulnerable, including our children,” State Senator Margaret O’Brien said.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette called for MSU to release the results of an internal investigation into Nassar’s misconduct at MSU.
The request came after others, including attorneys for Nassar’s survivors and The State News Editorial Board, who called for increased transparency into the investigation and its results.
Stay with The State News for more coverage of Larry Nassar, his cases and MSU's responses.