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sexual assault

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Beginning Friday, victims of a former Michigan State University doctor convicted of sexually assaulting young gymnasts can begin accessing help through a fund set up by the university.

MSU has selected Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc. (CMCI) and the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) to help the victims of former MSU physician Larry Nassar to get counseling and mental health services.

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FLINT - The Michigan Supreme Court has declined to review a judge's decision to reinstate sexual assault charges against former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves.

The state's high court on Wednesday joined three Michigan Court of Appeals judges, who in August denied Cleaves' request. Earlier, Genesee County Judge Archie Hayman reinstated the case against Cleaves, who faces charges including unlawful imprisonment and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Larry Nassar at a hearing in Michigan in 2017
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Here’s something those running Michigan State University have to know: The lawsuits stemming from former university physician Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse are likely to cost the school hundreds of millions of dollars.

KATE WELLS / Michigan Radio

This week we learned that even as Michigan State University Police conducted a criminal sexual conduct investigation of former doctor Larry Nassar, the university allowed him to continue seeing patients.

That investigation went on for more than a year, and

it appears Nassar assaulted at least 12 victims during that time.

A father named Tony joined Stateside today, and said his daughter was one of those assaulted by Nassar during this time period. She is now a 16-year-old who lives in Mid-Michigan. She once loved gymnastics, but no longer.

Christopher / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The #MeToo movement has launched us into a national discussion about sexual harassment, especially harassment and assault committed by men in the workplace.

Shervin Assari, an assistant professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Michigan, believes we should also be talking about another aspect of sexual assault that happens at home, behind closed doors: forced sex in intimate relationships.

Larry Nassar at a hearing in Michigan in 2017
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Last week I talked about the sexual assault scandal involving sport doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and its possible effect on next year’s campaign for governor. 

There is, to put it mildly, a lot going on these days, with the biggest story being the ever-mushrooming national sexual harassment scandal.

But there is another sex scandal of a different sort that is already a big deal and which seems almost certain to become much bigger and take on many more dimensions. I’m speaking about the events at Michigan State University, involving former sports medicine Dr. Larry Nassar, who has been credibly accused of sexually abusing at least 125 women and girls.

A teenager who attended Brighton Area Schools and admitted to raping a younger middle school student will not be allowed to return to that district once he’s released from a juvenile detention facility in Monroe County.

The teen originally faced dozens of charges related to accusations that he raped three middle school students whom he started a relationship with via social media. As part of a plea deal, he admitted to raping a 13 year-old middle school student and other lesser charges related to the assault of two 12 year-old girls. He was convicted as a juvenile.

Someone once told me you should leave any job about a year before people want you to. Well, as I speak these words, I have no idea how long Congressman John Conyers will be in office.

But I can tell you this: When he does leave, few will wish he had stayed longer. Half a century is probably more than long enough for any job, and Conyers has been there longer than that.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Larry Nassar, the doctor who worked with various women's gymnastics programs including the Michigan State University team and USA Gymnastics, pled guilty this week to charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct with children under the age of 16. 

Allen Allen / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking would get more support under a package of five bills introduced in the state House.

Supporters say the goal of the legislation is to fill gaps in state law that leave survivors without adequate protection.

"Every survivor should have the resources they need to put their lives back on track without fear of intimidation as the try to move forward," said Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton.

Promoting consent
Morgan Brenner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you logged on to social media at some point this week, you likely saw dozens of posts about #MeToo. The hashtag took off after an actress posed the question: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Wendy Sellers believes education is the best way to prevent sexual harassment and assault. 

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

Larissa Boyce has good days and bad days.

Today is a good day. Boyce’s husband, Adam, a teacher, and their three oldest kids are at school, leaving just her and three-year-old Skyler to visit Grandpa and the central passion of Skyler’s life: Grandpa’s tractor.

“All done with tractor,” Skyler announces solemnly at the end of their ride. (A few minutes later: “Go tractor?”)

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

Former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting six women and girls, all of whom were 15 years old or younger at the time. He’s accused of using his fingers to penetrate them vaginally and anally, without gloves or consent, under the guise of medical treatment.

As a respected MSU professor and a former Olympic gymnastics team doctor, the prosecution argues he used his reputation to make his alleged victims believe this was legitimate treatment.

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

Kate Wells is at today's hearing for Larry Nassar. She'll be live-tweeting from the court room. As a warning, some of these tweets may describe sensitive or explicit situations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University trustees clashed today  over a trustee’s recent outing of a whistleblower in a sexual assault case involving the school’s football program.

MSU Trustee Mitch Lyons has come under fire for his comments on a Tuesday radio interview that former player Auston Robertson reported a January sexual assault incident in a meeting with Mark Dantonio.

Caleb Woods/Upsplash

Dr. Larry Nassar is back in court this week. The former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor is accused of sexually abusing dozens of patients, under the guise of treatment.


MSU football and helmet
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan State University police announced Tuesday morning that three of the school’s football players have been charged with sexual assault.

Spartan Stadium
Ed Schipul / Flickr

Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr, and Demetric Vance were officially charged with sexual assault Tuesday morning, MSU police announced.

“King has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of capturing/distributing image of an unclothed person. Vance and Corley Jr. each has been charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct,” the department said in a release.

C/O Youtube

Michigan State University will not renew its contract with Curtis Blackwell, a school spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The news was first reported by Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Blackwell, a former Detroit high school coach and co-founder of the Sound Mind Sound Body football camp, was brought on staff for his relationships with potential recruits in the region.

Kate Wells

“How you doing, kiddo?” Judge Donald Allen asked a 17-year-old witness who’d just wrapped up a long, disturbing story of sexual assault that she says has damaged both her ability to trust and her desire to be touched. “That wasn’t fun,” she admitted, her eyes red and wet for the first time since she took the stand.

“Better than the dentist?” the judge joked.

“I’d much rather go to the dentist,” she replied.

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A school district in western Michigan has settled a lawsuit with four young women who say they were inappropriately touched by a former Major League Baseball player who worked at Lakewood High School.

Details of the settlement haven't been released. A federal judge signed an order Thursday dismissing the Lakewood district from the case. Chad Curtis remains in the lawsuit.

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

Former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will be back in district court in Mason today. He'll face some of the women and girls who claim he sexually abused them while he was supposed to be treating their injuries.

Kate Wells

The courtroom was ready for an intense day: this is, after all, a case in which the defendant has been accused of sexual assault by not just the seven women and girls in this particular hearing, but by more than 80 complainants thus far, according to the Michigan State Police.

It was just the first of what may well be three days of testimony, as 55th District Court Judge Donald Allen weighs whether there’s enough evidence against Dr. Larry Nassar, former MSU sports doctor and  Olympic gymnastics team physician, to go to trial in this case.

DREW, COOPER & ANDING / YOUTUBE VIDEO

Today, seven women and girls are expected to testify against a doctor they say sexually abused them.

They are some of more than 100 women and girls who’ve alleged Dr. Larry Nassar abused them while they were in gymnastic programs at Michigan State University (MSU) or USA Gymnastics (USAG). Nassar was the team physician for both.

(To see how the allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar unfolded, click here.)

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Rachael Denhollander will be the first to take the stand at 9 am on Friday, according to her attorney. It's the first day of preliminary hearings in a case involving her and 6 other alleged victims, who claim they were abused by Dr. Larry Nassar. 

“Yeah, I’m really not looking forward to it, to be honest,” Denhollander says. The mom of three is at home on the phone, while her husband’s in the background wrangling their 2-year-old (whose molars are coming in painfully and loudly.)

Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Records show a Michigan State University doctor resigned in January after learning the school was considering her termination because she didn't disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating Dr. Larry Nassar.

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

Katie Payne lives in California now. She and her sister, Maureen Payne Baum, grew up in the Detroit area.

Their mom still lives there. And a few months ago, their mom was driving to work, listening to news on the radio, when a story came on. A US Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor was being accused of sexual abuse.

It was just 4 a.m. in California. But Payne’s mom called her anyway.

Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

The story broke last September in the Indianapolis Star. Complaints surfaced that a Michigan State University sports physician has been sexually assaulting young gymnasts for nearly 20 years.

To date, more than 60 women and girls have stepped forward to tell police they were sexually assaulted by Dr Larry Nassar.
 

More than 30 have filed civil lawsuits against Michigan State and Dr. Nassar, who is currently in the Ingham County Jail facing federal and state charges of sexual assault and child pornography.

Lansing-area attorney Jamie White represents ten of Dr. Nassar's alleged victims, including a current scholarship member of the MSU women's gynmastics team.

Larry Nassar mug shot
Michigan Attorney General's office

A Michigan doctor who formerly worked for USA Gymnastics and is facing sexual assault charges has been indicted on child pornography charges.

The child pornography indictment against Dr. Larry Nassar was unsealed Friday in federal court in Grand Rapids. He's already charged with sexual assault in state court and is a target in civil lawsuits filed by former female gymnasts.

The indictment says Nassar received child pornography and possessed thousands of images, from 2003 through 2016.

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