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Larry Nassar

Dr. Larry Nassar was the medical director for the U.S. Gymnastics team and an associate professor at Michigan State University, where he was the team physician for the women’s gymnastics and crew teams.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells has been covering the sexual abuse case against former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar for more than a year.

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on January 24, 2018. MSU President Lou Anna Simon resigned the next day. You can scroll through all of our coverage here.

TIMELINE: A long history of abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar

TIMELINE: The Larry Nassar scandal at MSU

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Michael Patterson / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Michigan legislature is considering retroactively extending the statute of limitations of sexual assault of minors. It's part of a package of bills designed to make it easier for sexual assault victims to bring complaints forward.

This comes as a response to the Larry Nassar case. He's the former doctor who sexually assaulted young athletes at Michigan State University and other places.

Twenty years ago, John Engler was by far, the biggest figure in Lansing, and perhaps the most powerful governor Michigan has ever had. He understood the legislature better than anyone, largely because he had been in it for twenty years before becoming governor.

He was both respected and feared, and lawmakers in both parties thought twice before taking him on. Times have changed, however, and yesterday Engler, now interim president of Michigan State University, found himself testifying before a skeptical senate subcommittee.

Michigan State University interim President John Engler scolded lawmakers today over bills that would make it easier for sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits.

He says the debate is affecting settlement negotiations with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Engler appeared before a Senate universities budget subcommittee. He told the committee chair the bills could also drive up tuition. 

“Your legislation would certainly probably do that," he said. "I don’t know if it would force bankruptcy or not. I hope not.”

Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Senate this evening passed a package of sexual assault legislation (SB 871-878) designed to stop the type of abuse carried out by former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State Senate may vote this week on a package of bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. However, some groups are expressing concern that the legislation would retroactively extend the time victims would have to file lawsuits and remove an immunity defense for governmental agencies.

Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien / senatormargaretobrien.com

Legislation created out of tragedy is scheduled for a vote in the state Senate this week. Larry Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted young patients under the guise of treatment for decades. Lawmakers have been working on legislation to prevent a similar case from happening again.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Melody Posthuma spent a lot of money on therapy over the last year and a half.

“I have to be really strict about what we were spending our money on, because we needed to know that I had enough to go to counseling,” the 22-year-old Grand Rapids resident says.

Our legislators in Lansing have just enacted a tax cut that will be relatively meaningless for most, great for the rich, but which will leave our cash-strapped state with less revenue.

That wasn’t much of a concern for our lawmakers, all of whom will be gone within a few years, thanks to term limits. It ought to be more of a concern for citizens who have to worry about their kids’ educations, or dodge potholes the size of Lake St. Clair. We also know that our neglected infrastructure is fast falling apart, something we try hard to ignore.

Agência Brasil Fotografias / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There are new developments in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, including a lawsuit filed against USA Gymnastics, and the first allegations by a male victim.

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raismain claims the U.S. Olympic committee and USA Gymnastics were aware of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar "at the highest levels" and failed to intervene as required by their own policies and procedures.

Ryan Basilio / Creative Commons

The Catholic Church's lobbying arm in Michigan says it has concerns with a bill that would retroactively lengthen the time limit for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

When Rachael Denhollander told her story to the Indianapolis Star in September 2016, none of us knew this would eventually become one of the largest cases of child sexual abuse in recent memory. Denhollander’s accusations against Michigan State University and former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar eventually encompassed more than 250 reported victims, led to crises at both MSU and gymnastics national governing body, and gained international attention.

Michigan Radio
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers have a plan to fight sexual assault against young people. Some of the bills could have an impact on future lawsuits against Michigan State University.

The school has come under fire recently for accusations that it ignored complaints against former MSU sports doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar was recently sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting young women. Multiple women are currently suing the school.

Lindsey Lemke says she reported Nassar to an MSU official, but was ignored.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Another investigation into Michigan State University has been opened. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that a new Title IX investigation will look at how the university handled sexual assault complaints against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Back in the late 1850s, a handful of farm boys were taken to the woods outside Lansing and told to cut down some trees and build themselves classrooms and a dorm.

That was the beginning of what became Michigan State University. Last month may have been the worst in that school’s long history.

As part of the state Legislature’s response to Michigan State University’s handling of Larry Nassar, lawmakers are asking the state’s 15 public universities to explain their policies on sexual misconduct.

But, the questions are not stopping there.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Special Counsel Todd Flood, along with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and the Flint Water Investigative Team have been investigating the Flint water crisis for most of the year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Bill Schuette faced questions this week over whether the state's inquiry into Michigan State University's handling of the Larry Nassar scandal is truly independent. In a newly released letter regarding his appointment of Bill Forsyth to lead the investigation, Schuette says Forsyth will "serve under my direction and at my pleasure."

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's role in the investigation.


The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University’s major governing body held its first official public meeting with interim president John Engler today.

The Board and Engler tried to keep the meeting "business as usual," although several members acknowledged calls by students and faculty to step down. 

At the end of the meeting, several students stood up with posters condemning the board and Engler.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators want universities that receive federal funding to certify they are properly handling sexual abuse investigations.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced “The Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations (ALERT) Act" this week.

Courtesy of Deb McCaul

Here’s a sample of the kind of comments parents of Larry Nassar’s victims see online these days. Or, for that matter, just overhear at work and the grocery store:

“Why don’t the parents of the Nassar victims take any responsibility?”

“I wonder how many of those girls complained to their parents, and their parents turned a deaf ear about it.”

“The parents are equally to blame. Should be sharing a cell with Nassar.”

Deb McCaul says on some level, she gets it.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University Faculty Senate passed a vote of no confidence in the schools’ Board of Trustees Tuesday.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University have responded to initial inquiries from Congress regarding their handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

A Senate subcommittee made the institutions' answers public Tuesday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state lawmakers are laying out what they want in new legislation aimed at addressing the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler has requested that Dr. William Strampel be stripped of his tenure.

Strampel is currently on medical leave, after stepping down as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine in December. He was Dr. Larry Nassar's boss and did not enforce the protocols that were enforced the 2014 Title IX investigation cleared the former sports doctor of wrongdoing. 

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes one result of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal should be to reform the way trustees are chosen to govern Michigan State, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.

“We’re the only state in the country that elects the trustees to our three major universities on a statewide, partisan ballot,” he said.

Randall Margraves
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Donations flooded an online legal defense fundraiser after the father of three daughters rushed disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar at his sentencing hearing last week.

Now, Randy Margraves says he wants to give that money back.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 665, launched the fundraiser -- which raised more than $30,000.

Margraves, an electrician, says he deeply appreciates the outpouring of support. But he says he does not need the money.

lower half of gymnast on balance beam
Flickr user James Thomas / Creative Commons

USA Gymnastics has established a fund that it says is designed to assist gymnasts who were victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The organization's president, Kerry Perry, says the agency wants to provide the financial support for girls and young women to access counseling and mental health services.

The Athlete Assistance Fund was announced Wednesday. It's in cooperation with the National Gymnastics Foundation.

Investigators said Nassar molested numerous girls and women while claiming to be treating them for injuries. Many of the victims were gymnasts.

Larry Nassar in court with his attorneys, Shannon Smith and Matthew Newburg.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Six Republicans and 12 Democratic lawmakers have signed onto legislation to establish a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics handling of sexual abuse allegations against former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., says she's hopeful Senate leaders will back the effort once the chamber has dealt with an array of critical issues, namely keeping the federal government running. But she has not yet received a commitment.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan prosecutors aren't planning to bring additional sexual assault charges against imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar, even though abuse allegations are still being reported.

Kent Cassella, a spokesman at Michigan State University, says there have been more than 60 allegations reported to campus police since Jan. 16.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

For nearly 20 years, Larry Nassar was able to sexually abuse hundreds of women and girls thanks to his reputation as a respected sports doctor at Michigan State University.

Bill Beekman
Michigan State University

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler appointed Bill Beekman as interim athletic director Monday afternoon.

Beekman’s appointment comes amid ongoing investigations into the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Most recently, Beekman served as acting president of MSU before former Michigan governor John Engler was named interim president on Friday, February 2. He’s served as vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees since 2008. He’s also previously served as executive director of the MSU Alumni Association.

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