Two Nassar-inspired bills signed, giving sexual abuse survivors more time to sue
Two bills inspired by ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse were signed on Tuesday, giving childhood sexual abuse survivors more time to sue.
One of the bills signed will allow people who were sexually abused in childhood to sue until their 28th birthdays or three years from when they realize they have been abused and will give Nassar survivors a 90-day window to sue retroactively. Currently, the cutoff to sue under these circumstances in Michigan is usually a minor survivor's 19th birthday.
The other bill will give prosecutors 15 years, or until a survivor's 28th birthday, to file charges for second and third degree criminal sexual conduct cases if the survivor was younger than 18 when abuse occurred. Currently, the deadline is 10 years or until a survivor's 21st birthday.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed the two bills on Tuesday during a bill-signing event. Nassar survivors, including Rachael Denhollander, Amanda Thomashow and Larissa Boyce, attended the signing and a press conference.
According to the Associated Press, Denhollander said she was "deeply disappointed" that the House changed the legislation to not retroactively help all childhood sexual abuse survivors, as the legislative reform was meant for every survivor in the state of Michigan.
Over two dozen other bills in the package of Nassar-inspired legislation are not likely to go through final legislative passage until the fall.
Other bills in the package would:
- 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.
- Expand the list of mandatory reporters to physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and athletic trainers. Paid coaches are not included as mandatory reporters.
- Increase penalties for those who do not report sexual misconduct and require consent from patients who receive invasive medical procedures, which would make sexual assault under the appearance of medical treatment a crime.