Nassar in the News: Whitmer calls for Simon to resign, proposed legislation
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. 16 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:
State Rep. Klint Kesto is working on a bill which, if passed, would ban institutions of higher education in the state of Michigan from using funds obtained from the state to settle lawsuits involving sexual misconduct.
“The settlements relating to the Nassar case should not be paid for by the current students at Michigan State or the taxpayers as a whole,” Kesto said.
Gubernatorial candidate and former Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer has called for MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign due to her handling of the Nassar case.
“I am now convinced Michigan State University needs to write a new chapter of compassion, openness, integrity and accountability,” Whitmer wrote in an open letter to board of trustees chairman Brian Breslin. “We must turn the page on our current tragic episode of dozens and dozens of young women being assaulted, harmed and abused.”
MSU’s investigation into Nassar’s sexual misconduct has interviewed very few survivors and witnesses.
“There is no way a thorough investigation gets done unless all the survivors are interviewed by MSU, especially those who told MSU employees how Nassar abused them,” attorney Mick Grewal said.
The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board described the MSU board of trustees as “horrifically tone-deaf” for its decision to offer President Lou Anna K. Simon a raise at the December board of trustees meeting.
The offer came amid widespread calls for Simon to resign due to her handling of the Nassar case. Simon declined the raise and proposed that it instead be used as a donation to the Drs. Lou Anna K. and Roy J. Simon Endowed Scholarship fund.
The MSU Police Department and the FBI interviewed eight university employees about their knowledge of Nassar’s sexual abuse and misconduct.
The interviews are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.