Thursday, June 1, 2023

Another former patient reports sexual abuse by ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar

April 27, 2023
<p>Teal flags are displayed along Grand River Avenue on April 3, 2019.</p>

Teal flags are displayed along Grand River Avenue on April 3, 2019.

Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

Disgraced ex-Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by another former patient, adding to the hundreds of survivors who have shared their stories since the first report in 2016.

Nassar is currently serving an effective life sentence for numerous county charges of assaulting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment and federal child pornography charges.

This new account comes from a report made to MSU’s independent police department, MSUPD, in February of this year. The police report was obtained by The State News through a public records request, meaning portions are heavily redacted, including any use of the survivor’s name or other identifying information.

The report says Nassar repeatedly molested and raped the survivor under the guise of various medical treatments during physical therapy sessions in MSU’s sports medicine building between 2006 and 2008.

MSUPD’s Clery Coordinator determined there were 18 instances of “fondling” and three instances of rape during the sessions. The survivor said in the report that the sessions made him feel “used as a ‘ragdoll’” and aggravated his injuries.

Eventually, he opted to switch doctors, beginning sessions with MSU doctor Jeff Kovan, who improved the survivor’s condition and did not perform the “hip manipulation” treatments which Nassar used to initiate the abuse, according to the report.

The survivor said in the report he has “suppressed many of the memories associated with Nassar,” but that they “flood back into (his) mind when he draws or is exposed to extended periods of quiet time.” The entirety of the next section is redacted.

Per the department’s standing protocol on reports of Nassar’s abuse, the case was closed by MSUPD and referred to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

MSUPD spokesperson Dana Whyte declined a request for an interview, but provided a written statement affirming that decisions regarding further action are up to Nessel’s department.

The attorney general and the staffer assigned to the case were unavailable for comment at time of publication.

Nessel recently moved to reopen her investigation into “how and why the university failed to protect students” from Nassar’s abuse by renewing her request for thousands of related documents which have been long withheld by MSU’s board.

The board denied her request and didn't take a public vote at its recent meeting.

Nessel told The State News that she had “literally no idea” why the board would reject the request, given that MSU board chair Rema Vassar reportedly initiated the discussion when she reached out to the attorney general’s staff asking for the renewal.

Vassar has not returned calls and texts from The State News seeking comment on Nessel’s assertion. She has said that releasing the documents would be “retraumatizing” for survivors. When asked if she’s heard such concerns from any survivors, Vassar said she hasn't.


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